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Full text of "The First National Bank of Chicago, charter number eight: a brief history of its progress from the day on which it opened for business, July 1, 1863, to the same date half a century later, with which is incorporated a sketch of the First Trust and Savings Bank"

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M.  A.  DONOHUE  &  CO. 


James  B.  Forgan 


Howard  H.  Hitchcock        Frank  O.  Wetmore  Emile  K.  Boisot 

August  Blum         Charles  N.  Gillett      Charles  H.  Newhall 

M.  D.  Witkowsky  Arthur  W.  Newton 

Henry  A.  Howland 

Assistant  Cashiers 

William  H.  Monroe     Edward  S.  Thomas     John  P.  Oleson     H.  H.  Heins 

A.  C.  C.  Timm  William  J.  Lawlor  John  F.  Hagey 

R.  F.  Newhall  George  H.  Dunscomb 

Auditing  Department 
H.  L.  Droegemueller,  Auditor 

Clerical  and  Bookkeeping  Departments 
William  H.  Monroe,  Ass't  Cashier 

Credit  and  Statistical  Department 
J.  W.  Lynch,  Manager 

Discount  and  Collateral  Department 
Charles  M.  Walworth,  Manager 

Foreign  Exchange  Department 
John  J.  Arnold  Charles  P.  Clifford 

Manager  Assistant  Manager 

Law  Department 
Edward  E.  Brown  John  Nash  Ott 

Attorney  Assistant  Attorney 

Transit  and  General  Books  Department 
Charles  R.  McKay,  Manager 



Benjamin  Allen 
Samuel  W.  Allerton 
A.  C.  Bartlett 
E.  K.  Boisot 
William  L.  Brown 
Augustus  A.  Carpenter 

D.  Mark  Cummings 
James  B.  Forgan 
James  J.  Hill 

H.  H.  Hitchcock 
Marvin  Hughitt 

E.  T.  Jeffery 
William  J.  Louderback 
Harold  F.  McCormick 
Edward  Morris 
Charles  H.  Morse 
Eugene  S.  Pike 
Henry  H.  Porter,  Jr. 
Norman  B.  Ream 
John  A.  Spoor 
Bernard  E.  Sunny 
Wm.  J.  Watson 
Frank  O.  Wetmore 
Clarence  M.  Woolley 

Also  Directors  and  Members  of  the  Advisory 
Committee  of  the 



James  B.  F organ,  President 
Emile  K.  Boisot,  Vice-President 

Lotas  Boisot,  Trust  Officer 

Burt  C.  Hardenbrook,  Cashier 

Robert  D.  Forgan,  Treasurer 

David  V.  Webster,  Secretary 

Frank  M.  Gordon,  Manager  Bond  Department 

Roy  C.  Osgood,  Assistant  Trust  Officer 

C.  G.  Fleager,  Assistant  Treasurer 

A.  W.  Converse,  Assistant  Secretary 

Robert  L.  Davis,  Manager  Real  Estate  Department 

Edward  E.  Brown,  Attorney 

John  Nash  Ott.  Assistant  Attorney 


THE  First  National  Bank  of  Chicago  opened 
its  doors  for  business  on  the  first  day  of 
July,  1863;  its  character  has  never  changed. 
Upon  the  completion  of  a  half -century's  serv- 
ice— successful  to  itself  and  of  value  to  the 
community — marked  by  growth  coincident  with 
that  of  Chicago,  this  history  is  presented.  It  is 
essentially  a  record  of  the  past  and  but  suggests 
the  facilities  and  organization  which  has  been 
built  up  year  by  year,  until  in  equipment,  in 
personnel  of  management,  in  the  high  standards 
which  mark  its  daily  routine,  the  bank  stands  as 
a  model  product  of  the  National  Bank  Act.  Not 
only  is  it  a  monument  to  those  who  laid  the 
foundations  and  whose  wisdom  and  prudence  have 
made  the  name  a  synonym  for  strength  and 
safety,  but  to  those  also  who  day  by  day  maintain 
its  reputation  and  its  traditions,  striving  that  the 
honored  name  may  be  handed  down  without 
stain  to  their  successors. 

Under  the  authority  of  the  board  of  directors 
a  history  of  the  institution,  prepared  by  Henry 
C.  Morris,  was  published  in  1902,  from  which, 
with  but  little  alterations,  has  been  taken  the 
record  up  to  the  renewal  of  the  bank's  second 
charter.  The  present  reviewer  acknowledges  the 
obligation  to  Mr.  Morris,  and  to  the  officers  of 
the  bank,  who  by  criticism  and  advice  have  aided 
in  the  preparation  of  the  volume. 

Guy  Wickes  Cooke. 
Chicago,  1913. 




I.    The  First  National  Bank  Building     -  Frontispiece 

II.    Edmund  Aiken    -----------       10 

The  First  President 

III.    The  Bank's  First  Building     --------18 

Southwest  Corner  Clark  and  Lake  Streets 

TV.    Samuel  M.  Nickerson -26 

The  Second  President 

V.    The  Bank's  Second  Building         -       -       -       -       -       ...       34 

Southwest  Corner  State  and  Washington  Streets 

VI.    Ruins  of  the  Second  Building       - -       42 

After  the  Fire  of  1871 

VII.    The  Bank's  Third  Building    --------50 

Northwest  Corner  Dearborn  and  Monroe  Streets 

VIII.    Lyman  J.  Gage 58 

The  Third  President 

IX.    James  B.  Forgan -----66 

The  President 

X.    Official  Staff  of  1910     --- 74 

' '    '     '..••■*>'■. 

The  First  National  Bank 
of  Chicago 

FINANCIAL  conditions  existing  in  Chicago  at  the  out- 
break of  the  Civil  War  were  not  in  the  least  flattering. 
Although  in  November,  i860,  the  situation  had  been 
most  auspicious,  yet  within  two  months  after  that 
date,  by  reason  of  the  decline  in  southern  securities,  the  notes 
of  Illinois  banking  corporations  were  at  a  serious  discount,  and 
local  banks  unanimously  refused  to  accept  those  which  were 
considered  the  most  doubtful  in  value. 

The  total  volume  of  the  notes  of  all  the  banks  having 
offices  in  Chicago  at  the  close  of  1861  was  slightly  less  than 
$150,000,  a  sum  utterly  insufficient  to  satisfy  the  demands  of 
the  community;  hence  bills  issued  outside  of  the  state,  and 
not  redeemable  within  its  boundaries,  were  necessarily  put  in 
circulation.  Indeed,  the  city  was  soon  notorious  as  the  center 
from  which  great  quantities  of  this  paper  were  scattered  broad- 
cast. Thus  the  people  suffered,  trade  was  uncertain,  and 
business  was  prosecuted  for  the  next  eighteen  months  under 

Meanwhile  the  discussion  of  the  proposed  National  Currency 
Act  was  progressing  at  Washington,  and  the  divergence  of 
opinion,  aroused  throughout  the  country  by  its  consideration, 


was  showing  that  many  well-informed  financiers  were  looking 
forward  to  an  improvement  in  monetary  affairs,  should  such  a 
measure  ever  become  law.  Some  of  these  men  resided  in 
Chicago,  and  during  the  winter  of  1862-63  they  frequently  met 
and  talked  over  the  prospects  of  the  projected  legislation. 
Prominent  among  them  were  Edmund  Aiken,  then  about  fifty 
years  of  age,  and  sole  member  of  the  private  banking  firm  of 
Aiken  &  Norton;  Samuel  M.  Nickerson,  a  young  man  of 
thirty-two,  who  had  only  recently  arrived  here,  and  was 
temporarily  engaged  in  the  distilling  business;  Byron  Rice,  a 
capitalist;  Samuel  W.AUerton,  a  packer;  Benjamin  P.  Hutch- 
inson, a  member  of  the  Board  of  Trade,  and  several  others. 
The  place  of  these  informal  gatherings  was  usually  at  the  office 
of  Aiken  &  Norton,  in  Room  I  of  the  old  Board  of  Trade 
Building,  on  the  northeast  corner  of  La  Salle  and  Water  streets. 
Chicago  had  at  this  time  a  population  approximating  150,000 
and  it  was  evident  to  those  endowed  with  reasonable  foresight 
that  this  city  was  destined,  as  the  years  advanced,  to  attain  a 
higher  and  higher  degree  of  prosperity.  It  was  likewise  ap- 
parent that  the  banking  facilities  then  existing,  even  in  those 
days  of  civil  strife,  were  inadequate ;  moreover,  the  institution 
which  should  first  prove  itself  worthy  of  public  confidence 
would,  when  the  war  closed,  have  an  enormous  advantage  over 
all  competitors.  The  community  had  outgrown  its  infancy; 
conditions  had  been  modified ;  there  was  not  merely  room  for, 
but  an  urgent  need  of,  a  well-organized  bank,  with  ample 
capital  and  under  a  management  both  honest  and  skilled  in  the 
theory  and  practice  of  banking. 

The  movement  was  opportune,  and  these  men  were  thor- 
oughly fitted  to  grasp  its  possibilities.    With  the  passage  of 



the  National  Currency  Act,  and  its  approval  by  the  President, 
the  little  group  of  Chicagoans  felt  that  the  hour  for  action  had 
come.  Not  a  single  day  was  needlessly  lost  in  perfecting  their 

The  first  step  of  which  official  record  exists  is  the  meeting 
of  the  interested  parties,  presumably  in  the  office  of  Aiken  & 
Norton,  on  May  I,  1863.  Upon  that  occasion  formal  articles 
of  association,  as  prescribed  by  law,  were  adopted.  The  chief 
provisions  were:  that  the  name  of  the  corporation  should  be 
"  The  First  National  Bank  of  Chicago ;"  that  the  capital  should 
be  $100,000,  and  might  be  augmented  to  a  sum  not  in  excess  of 
$1,000,000;  a  two-thirds  vote  of  the  board  of  directors  being 
always  requisite  for  such  a  purpose;  the  additional  stock  to  be 
distributed  pro  rata  among  such  of  the  stockholders  as  might 
wish  to  take  their  respective  shares.  Thirty  per  cent  of  the 
original  subscriptions  was  to  be  taken  and  paid  for  at  once, 
and  the  remainder  at  such  times  as  should  thereafter  be  de- 
termined. The  directors  were  fixed  at  nine,  their  qualifications 
to  be  the  ownership  of  stock  equivalent  in  value  to  five  per 
cent  on  the  first  $100,000,  and  one  per  cent  upon  any  increase 
of  capital  over  such  amount.  The  term  for  which  the  associa- 
tion was  formed  was  limited  to  expire  on  April  30,  1882, 
being  nineteen  years  from  the  date  of  this  instrument.  The 
signers  and  the  number  of  shares  held  by  each  of  them  were, 



Shares  Shares 

Edmund  Aiken 175        Samuel  M.  Nickerson 100 

Byron  Rice 50  Samuel  W.  Allerton      ....   100 

Benjamin  P.  Hutchinson.  .   175        John  B.  Sherman 100 

Tracy  J.  Bronson 100        James  C.  Fargo 50 

George  N.  Kennedy 50  Samuel  G.  D.  Howard ....   100 

All,  with  one  exception,  were  residents  of  Chicago ;  George 
N.  Kennedy  lived  at  Syracuse,  New  York. 

Pursuant  to  the  articles  of  association,  the  stockholders 
assembled  on  May  7,  1863,  at  the  office  of  Aiken  &  Norton, 
and  thereupon  elected  as  directors,  to  serve  until  the  second 
Tuesday  in  January,  1864,  the  following  named  gentlemen: 
Samuel  W.  Allerton,  Tracy  J.  Bronson,  Samuel  M.  Nickerson, 
Byron  Rice,  Benjamin  P.  Hutchinson,  Edmund  Aiken,  Samuel 
G.  D.  Howard,  James  C.  Fargo,  and  John  B.  Sherman.  The 
board  thus  constituted,  having  at  once  met,  chose  Edmund 
Aiken  president,  and  James  C.  Fargo  vice-president.  Sub- 
sequently, on  May  22d,  Messrs.  Hutchinson,  Howard,  and 
Nickerson  were  appointed  a  committee  to  assist  the  president 
in  completing  the  organization  and  making  other  preliminary 
arrangements.  On  May  27th,  $30,000  of  the  capital  having 
been  paid  in,  that  fact  was  communicated  to  Hon.  Hugh 
McCulloch,  Comptroller  of  the  Currency.  The  original  in- 
tention had  been  to  open  the  doors  of  the  establishment  on 
June  1st,  but  some  unexpected  delays  occurred.  The  Comp- 
troller likewise  did  not  finally  act  upon  any  of  the  applications 
before  him  until  June  22d.  On  that  date  he  empowered 
several  banks  to  begin  business,  signing  almost  simultaneously 
the  necessary  authority.  The  First  National  Bank  of  Chicago 
was  the  eighth  institution  to  receive  his  approval.  On  June 
26th  the  board  of  directors  voted  that  the  activities  of  the 


1  >         1 

'  '  *     J       >>'  ''>','  >     1 



bank  be  inaugurated  on  July  I,  1863,  in  the  rooms  formerly 
occupied  by  Aiken  &  Norton,  which  had  been  secured  for  this 
purpose.  At  the  same  time  a  resolution  to  increase  the  capital 
to  $250,000  was  passed.  Prior  to  this  date,  James  C.  Fargo 
had  sold  his  stock,  and  was  thus  disqualified  from  holding 
office.  To  succeed  him  as  vice-president,  Samuel  M.  Nicker- 
son  was,  upon  motion  of  B.  P.  Hutchinson,  chosen  on  June  29, 
1863;  then  entering  upon  that  period  of  indefatigable  service 
in  behalf  of  the  bank  which  was  to  extend  over  more  than  a 
third  of  a  century.  At  the  same  meeting  Edward  E.  Braisted 
was  appointed  cashier. 

The  Chicago  Daily  Tribune  of  June  30, 1863,  conta*ined  the 
following  announcement: 

"The  First  National  Bank  of  Chicago  goes  into  operation 
tomorrow,  July  1st,  E.  Aiken,  Esq.,  President,  and  E.  E. 
Braisted,  late  of  the  Loan  &  Trust  Co.,  Cashier.  The  stock- 
holders are  among  the  most  active  and  substantial  business 
men,  representing  our  merchants,  lumber,  produce,  and  stock 
dealers,  with  a  number  of  our  leading  capitalists.  The  bank 
opens  with  a  cash  capital  of  a  quarter  million  of  dollars,  and  a 
further  increase  will  be  added  as  the  wants  of  the  business 
public  shall  require.  The  president  has  long  been  known  to 
the  business  community  as  one  of  our  most  active  and  prudent 
bankers,  and  the  stockholders  and  the  public  are  fortunate  in 
the  selection  of  a  gentleman  for  so  important  a  position,  who 
so  thoroughly  understands  the  business  of  the  city.  The  bank 
will  open  at  the  former  office  of  the  president,  No.  22  La  Salle 
street,  immediately  north  of  Coolbaugh  &  Co.'s  Bank,  north- 
west corner  of  Lake." 



From  the  day  of  its  inauguration  the  institution  was  ac- 
corded a  favorable  reception  by  the  people,  and  during  the 
first  three  months  of  its  existence,  gradually  gained  strength. 
The  earliest  published  statement  of  its  condition  appeared 
on  October  i,  1863,  as  of  the  close  of  business  September  30th, 
and  showed  as  follows: 


Loans  and  discounts $149,650.00 

United  States  bonds  (par  value) 91,000.00 

Cash  Resources: 

Due  from  banks  (Eastern  exchange) $109,773.73 

Checks  for  clearing  house 68,597.12 

Cash  on  hand 60,828.13 



Capital  stock $205,000.00 

Undivided  profits 1,759.49 

Deposits 273,089.49 


From  this  modest  beginning  one  of  the  largest  financial 
institutions  on  the  western  hemisphere  has  developed. 

The  next  incident  of  importance  was  the  election  of  E.  G. 
Hall,  on  November  II,  1863,  as  a  director  to  succeed  James  C. 
Fargo,  who  had  resigned.  Already  the  rooms  occupied  by  the 
bank  were  becoming  too  small,  and  unfitted  for  its  growing 
business;  the  officers  were  looking  for  new  quarters.  At  the 
meeting  of  the  board,  December  8th,  the  action  of  the  presi- 
dent in  leasing  a  portion  of  the  main  floor  in  the  Exchange 
Block,  at  the  southwest  corner  of  Clark  and  Lake  streets,  for 
five  years,  at  an  annual  rental  of  $4,000,  was  approved.    This 



address  remained  unchanged  until  the  end  of  1867.  On  the 
same  day  the  directors  also  passed  a  resolution  ordering  from 
the  Comptroller  of  the  Currency  the  sum  of  $200,000  in  cir- 
culating notes. 

The  first  regular  annual  election  of  directors  was  held  on 
January  12,  1864.  It  may  not  be  without  interest  to  mention 
the  names  of  the  stockholders  and  the  number  of  shares  re- 
spectively held  by  them  at  that  time.  The  secretary  of  the 
meeting  reported  the  vote  cast  by  those  present  or  represented 
by  proxy  as  follows: 

Shares  Shares 

E.Aiken 212        M.  Talcott 100 

Byron  Rice 70  Samuel  D.  G.  Howard ....  70 

Henry  M.  Wilmarth 30        W.  N.  Brainard 50 

Benjamin  P.  Hutchinson.  .  300        George  C.  Walker 50 

E.  G.  Hall 70        Tracy  J.  Bronson 150 

T.  H.  Seymour 50        Samuel  W.  AUerton 150 

S.  B.  Roath 30        Henry  M.  Shepard 50 

John  M.  Williams 50        Samuel  M.  Nickerson 100 

A.  Hurd 50        Horace  M.  Singer 100 

Whereupon  it  was  announced  that  Messrs.  Edmund  Aiken, 
Benjamin  P.  Hutchinson,  Samuel  W.  AUerton,  Samuel  M. 
Nickerson,  Byron  Rice,  Samuel  G.  D.  Howard,  Tracy  J.  Bron- 
son, John  B.  Sherman,  and  E.  G.  Hall  had  been  duly  elected 
for  the  ensuing  year.  The  board  immediately  met  and  chose 
the  former  officers  to  succeed  themselves. 

As  suggestive  of  the  conservative  views  which  then  pre- 
vailed among  the  managers,  the  resolution  of  the  directors  of 
January  23,  1864,  reciting  that  "no  loan  shall  be  made  with  or 
without  collateral  to  any  individual  or  firm  to  exceed  $50,000 



without  the  approval  of  the  board,"  should  be  noted.  During 
the  spring  of  the  same  year  the  stock  was  gradually  augmented 
to  $600,000.  The  bank  was  now  on  a  healthy,  sound,  and  pros- 
perous basis.  The  men  who  had  brought  it  into  existence  were 
naturally  desirous  of  realizing  some  direct  return.  On  May  2, 
1864,  the  first  dividend  was  declared.  The  net  earnings  for 
the  period  prior  to  the  preceding  day,  free  of  tax,  were  found 
to  be  equal  to  sixteen  per  cent  of  the  capital,  while  the  holders 
of  the  first  three  thousand  shares  issued  also  received  pro  rata 
the  five  per  cent  premium  which  had  accrued  on  the  United 
States  bonds.  Such  a  result  of  one  year's  work  may  well  be 
envied  by  financiers  of  the  present  generation.  Soon  after- 
ward it  was  determined  to  increase  the  volume  of  the  circulat- 
ing notes,  as  soon  as  practicable,  to  $400,000. 

On  October  I,  1864,  the  principal  items  included  in  the 
official  statement  were:  Loans  and  discounts,  $809,730.94; 
United  States  bonds,  $441,500;  cash  resources,  $681,819.65; 
capital  stock  paid  in,  $600,000;  undivided  profits,  $66,752.88; 
circulating  notes,  $320,000;  deposits,  $946,579.95.  On  No- 
vember 15,  1864,  a  dividend  of  ten  per  cent  was  distributed. 
During  this  autumn  the  capital  was  fixed  at  $750,000  and  the 
circulating  notes  at  $600,000  in  value.  Augustus  W.  Wheeler 
was  appointed  assistant  cashier  on  November  7th. 

The  next  year  opened  with  memorable  action  by  the  board 
of  directors,  when,  on  January  2,  1865,  it  voted  to  increase 
the  capital  stock  to  $1,000,000,  the  highest  limit  provided  by 
the  articles  of  association.  Under  date  of  March  9th  the 
cashier  certified  to  the  Comptroller  of  the  Currency  that  the 
full  amount  had  been  paid ;  $100,000  of  this  additional  sum  was 
relinquished  for  allotment  to  new  stockholders. 



On  February  10, 1865,  A.  W.  Wheeler  severed  his  connection 
with  the  management,  having  previously  resigned  as  assistant 
cashier.  The  United  States  Treasurer  certified,  February  24, 
1865,  that  the  bank  had  on  deposit  bonds  to  the  total  of  $632,- 
000,  of  which  $572,000  were  as  security  for  circulation,  and 
$60,000  to  cover  public  moneys  in  its  possession.  Another 
important  event  was  the  approval  of  the  charter  and  constitu- 
tion of  the  Chicago  Clearing  House  Association.  By  this  act 
the  institution  became  a  member  of  that  organization. 

A  further  semi-annual  dividend  of  ten  per  cent  was  declared 
for  May  1st,  it  being  the  last  paid  at  that  date.  To  conform 
with  the  more  usually  prevailing  practice  a  resolution  was 
adopted  in  November,  1865,  that  dividends  should  thereafter 
be  payable  on  the  first  days  of  January  and  July  respectively. 

During  1865  there  had  not  been  any  change  in  the  board  of 
directors.  At  the  beginning  of  1 866  all  the  old  members,  except 
S.  G.  D.  Howard,  were  re-elected;  in  his  stead  Franklin  D. 
Gray  was  named.  At  this  same  time  the  bank  experienced 
another  modification  in  its  personnel  through  the  voluntary 
retirement  of  the  cashier,  E.  E.  Braisted.  This  gentleman  had 
rendered  great  service  in  helping  to  place  it  upon  a  safe  founda- 
tion. His  successor  does  not  appear  to  have  been  at  once 
selected.  Charles  J.  Schmitt  was,  however,  appointed  assistant 
cashier  on  January  9th,  and  seems  to  have  performed  the 
duties  of  the  higher  post  during  several  ensuing  months,  until, 
on  December  3d,  Cornelius  R.  Field  was  chosen  to  fill  it. 

At  the  opening  of  the  next  year  (1867),  a  serious  blow  was 
sustained  in  the  death  of  President  Aiken,  who  died  suddenly 
of  heart  disease  on  January  12th,  being  then  in  the  fifty-fifth 



year  of  his  age.  Under  his  management  the  institution  had, 
within  a  brief  period,  grown  to  be  one  of  the  leading  financial 
institutions  of  the  West ;  its  original  projector,  he  had  brought 
it  to  its  present  prosperous  condition.  Hence,  fear  was 
naturally  expressed  that  his  sagacity  and  counsel  might  be 
missed.  Fortunately,  however,  in  the  emergency,  the  person 
well  equipped  and  thoroughly  fitted  to  assume  these  arduous 
labors  was  at  hand.  On  January  23,  1867,  Samuel  M.  Nicker- 
son  was  promoted  to  the  presidential  chair,  while  Franklin  D. 
Gray  was  elected  vice-president.  For  the  next  thirty  years  and 
more  these  two  men  were  associated  in  the  direction  of  the  bank. 
For  them  both  its  interests  became  their  chief  care.  The  one 
as  the  executive  head,  the  other  as  his  adviser,  counselor,  and 
friend,  strove  long  and  strenuously  to  advance  the  welfare  of 
the  corporation  which  they  so  ardently  cherished.  At  the 
annual  meeting  held  this  same  month,  in  the  place  of  Messrs. 
Bronson  and  Sherman,  George  C.  Walker  and  Mancel  Talcott 
were  named  for  the  board  of  directors.  Subsequently,  on 
March  4th,  Henry  B.  Lewis  was  designated  to  succeed  Mr. 
Aiken  for  the  remainder  of  the  unexpired  term.  At  a  slightly 
later  date  (June  24,  1867)  George  Webster  was  also  chosen 
vice  Benjamin  P.  Hutchinson,  resigned. 

The  most  important  transaction  of  this  era  was  the  pur- 
chase of  the  lot  on  the  southwest  corner  of  State  and  Washing- 
ton streets.  Vice-president  Gray,  who  was  charged  with  the 
negotiations,  secured  the  transfer  of  this  piece  of  ground — 
measuring  fifty-five  feet  on  State  street  by  eighty-four  feet  on 
Washington  street — during  the  last  week  in  March,  1867,  for 
the  sum  of  $83,500,  being  equivalent  to  $1,500  per  foot  on  the 
State  street  frontage.    The  conditions  of  payment  were  one- 



fourth  cash  and  balance  in  three  equal  installments,  payable 
one,  two,  and  three  years  after  date,  bearing  interest  at  the 
rate  of  seven  per  cent.  In  September,  a  building  committee, 
consisting  of  Messrs.  Nickerson,  Walker,  Gray,  and  Talcott, 
was  appointed.  A  fire-proof  edifice  was  projected,  which  was 
furnished  and  occupied  in  the  spring  of  1868.  As  described 
in  Industrial  Chicago: 

"The  old  First  National  Bank  building,  on  the  southwest 
corner  of  State  and  Washington  streets,  was  completed  in  1872 
at  a  cost  of  $295,000,  $75,000  of  which  was  spent  on  restoration 
after  the  fire.  It  was  considered  a  fire-proof  house — iron, 
stone,  and  brick  being  the  exclusive  material,  but  it  did  not 
prove  itself  so  in  the  presence  of  the  great  fire  of  1871,  for  the 
inner  vaults  were  the  only  portions  of  the  building  untouched 
by  fire.  Part  of  the  walls  fell  in  and  the  iron  work  was  twisted 
or  melted.  It  was  a  Florentine  building,  with  balustraded 
portico  in  cut-off  and  pediment  from  the  cornice.  Prior  to  the 
introduction  of  modern  houses  the  old  First  National  Bank 
was  considered  a  rare  architectural  work,  and  was  spoken  of 
in  connection  with  the  Palmer,  Tremont,  Field,  and  other 
leading  houses." 

At  the  close  of  business  on  December  31,  1867,  the  principal 
items,  as  shown  by  the  statement  subsequently  published, 
were:  Loans  and  discounts,  $1,978,532.39;  deposits,  $2,125,- 
069.83;  capital,  $1,000,000;  surplus,  $100,000;  profit  and 
loss,  $120,477.83. 

The  annual  election  of  1868  resulted  in  the  choice  of  the 
same  directorate  and  officers.  On  March  2d,  Byron  Rice 
resigned  from  the  board,  and  two  months  later  Henry  H. 



Porter  was  elected  to  succeed  him.  About  this  date  Messrs. 
Gray  and  Webster,  together  with  the  president,  were,  pursuant 
to  the  provisions  of  the  by-laws,  as  then  lately  amended,  ap- 
pointed to  serve  as  a  "discount  committee." 

During  the  summer  of  1868  a  momentous  change  in  the 
personnel  of  the  active  managers  occurred.  On  July  13,  the 
resignation  of  Cornelius  R.  Field,  as  cashier,  was  accepted,  to 
take  effect  on  the  first  of  August  following.  Before  the  last 
mentioned  day,  Lyman  J.  Gage,  then  assistant  cashier  of  the 
Merchants'  Loan  and  Trust  Company,  had  been  chosen  his 
successor.  Thenceforth  the  names  of  Mr.  Gage  and  the 
First  National  Bank  of  Chicago  were  for  many  years  synony- 

On  September  7,  1868,  the  by-laws  were  again  revised  so  as 
to  provide  for  a  finance  committee,  in  the  place  of  the  discount 
committee,  to  be  composed  of  the  president,  cashier,  and  one 
other  director,  to  the  care  of  which  the  details  of  financial 
policy  were  intrusted,  besides  the  authority  to  discount  bills, 
notes,  and  other  evidences  of  debt,  and  to  buy  and  sell  bills  of 
exchange.  Mr.  Walker  was  thereupon  appointed  as  the  third 

At  this  time,  among  all  the  financial  institutions  of  Chicago, 
the  First  National  Bank  was,  as  it  appears  from  current  statis- 
tics, in  the  lead  in  capital  and  surplus ;  in  loans  and  discounts, 
and  in  deposits,  the  Union  National  Bank  alone  surpassed  it. 

In  1869  George  C.  Walker  and  Henry  B.  Lewis  retired  from 
the  board  of  directors,  their  places  being  filled  by  Frederick 
Crumbaugh  and  Daniel  Thompson.  Henry  R.  Symonds  was, 
on  January  4th,  chosen  assistant  cashier. 


>    >  >> 

'  »  >  ,       ,     ,    . 

'  '       >      •     1       >         > 

Southwest  Corner  Clark  and  Lake  Streets 

r    r  c    r     f 


On  October  9,  1869,  the  formal  report  to  the  Comptroller 
was  as  follows: 


Loans  and  discounts $2,381,957.79 

United  States  bonds  (par  value) 767,050.00 

Building,  fixtures,  and  furniture 312,885.05 

Cash  resources: 

Due  from  banks $312,135.74 

Checks  for  clearing  house 232,069.57 

Cash  on  hand 555,872.53     1,100,077.84 


Capital  stock  paid  in $1,000,000.00 

Surplus  fund 200,000.00 

Other  undivided  profits 72,712.88 

Circulation  notes  from  Comptroller 597,270.00 

Deposits 2,691,987.80 


At  the  meeting  of  January  15,  1870,  Edward  F.  Lawrence 
and  Lyman  J.  Gage  were  elected  directors  to  succeed  Messrs. 
Hall  and  Webster.  Henry  H.  Porter  was  placed  on  the 
finance  committee,  and  Messrs.  Nickerson,  Porter,  and  Gage 
were  appointed  to  remodel  the  by-laws  of  the  association. 
Owing  to  the  adoption  of  a  policy  of  greater  conservatism,  the 
loans  and  discounts,  as  well  as  deposits,  at  this  date  show  a 
distinct  shrinkage;  they  were,  respectively,  $1,862,262.91  and 

On  January  10,  1 87 1,  the  stockholders  in  annual  session 
adopted  several  amendments  to  the  articles  of  association, 
the  principal  provision  being  for  such  increase  of  the  capital 
as  might  be  voted  by  a  two-thirds  majority  of  the  board  of 



directors  from  time  to  time  until  in  the  total  it  should  aggre- 
gate $3,000,000.  The  number  of  directors  was  also  fixed  at 
not  less  than  five  nor  more  than  thirteen.  All  the  retiring 
members,  with  the  exception  of  Daniel  Thompson,  were  re- 
elected ;  in  his  stead  Benjamin  F.  Allen  was  chosen.  The  same 
officers  as  heretofore  were  again  named.  Subsequently,  at 
a  meeting  of  the  board,  on  February  6th,  a  new  series  of  by- 
laws was  voted. 

The  great  fire  of  October  9,  1871,  swept  over  the  bank 
structure,  although  the  walls  were  left  standing,  and  a  portion 
of  the  interior  was  unharmed.  For  temporary  purposes 
quarters  were  found.  First  in  the  old  Burlington  Warehouse, 
at  the  corner  of  State  and  Sixteenth  streets,  then  in  a  building 
on  Wabash  avenue,  between  Congress  and  Twelfth,  and  after- 
wards in  a  frame  structure  on  the  north  side  of  Washington 
street  between  State  and  Dearborn,  some  one  hundred  feet 
east  of  the  latter  thoroughfare,  on  the  site  of  the  old 
Crosby  Opera  House.  On  January  1,  1872,  business  was  again 
transacted  in  the  old  edifice,  which  at  that  time  had  been 
thoroughly  restored.  The  safes  and  vaults  had  withstood  the 
heat  of  the  flames;  not  a  security,  note,  or  paper  of  any  value 
was  destroyed,  and  the  books  were  intact.  The  special  com- 
mittee appointed  by  the  directors  to  ascertain  the  total  loss 
sustained,  as  the  effect  of  this  memorable  calamity,  reported 
that  it  did  not  exceed  $250,000,  of  which  $100,000  represented 
the  damage  to  the  building. 

During  1872  only  one  change  occurred  in  the  directorate, 
Nelson  Morris  being  elected  to  succeed  Frederick  Crumbaugh. 
Charles  Hitchcock  was  also  in  August  of  this  year  appointed 
legal  counsel,  and  the  City  Bank  of  London  was  in  June 



designated  as  foreign  correspondent.  On  December  25th  the 
sum  of  $100,000  was  transferred  to  the  surplus  fund.  The 
financial  condition  of  the  bank  at  the  opening  of  the  next  year, 
which  was  to  be  remarkable  as  one  of  depression  and  panic, 
was  excellent.  The  statement  made  at  the  close  of  1872 
showed : 


Loans  and  discounts $2,493,063.06 

United  States  bonds  (par  value) 675,800.00 

Building,  furniture,  and  fixtures 264,361.38 

Cash  resources: 

Due  from  banks  (Eastern  exchange).  .  $549,058.04 

Cash  on  hand 921,152.55      1,470,210.59 


Capital  stock  paid  in $1,000,000.00 

Surplus  fund 300,000.00 

Other  undivided  profits 204,959.15 

Circulation  notes  from  Comptroller $602,300.00 

Less  amount  on  hand 14,315.00  587,985.00 

Dividend  unpaid    250.00 

Deposits  2,810,240.88 


On  February  28,  1873,  the  First  National  Bank  of  Chicago 
had:  Loans  and  discounts,  $2,560,897.42;  deposits,  $3,477,- 
880.12.  The  worst  days  of  depression  did  not  come  until 
autumn.  Through  these  trials  and  tribulations  the  institution 
passed  unharmed  and  intact.  Not  for  a  moment  were  its  doors 
closed,  or  the  slightest  hesitation  shown  in  meeting  the  demands 
of  its  depositors.  After  the  crisis  had  been  successfully 
weathered,  its  prestige  was  so  greatly  enhanced  that  it  was 



at  once  recognized  as  the  foremost  bank  in  Chicago  and  the 
West.  To  the  fidelity  and  courage  of  the  cashier,  Lyman  J. 
Gage,  the  happy  issue  from  these  painful  ordeals  was  chiefly 
due,  as  is  most  fittingly  testified  in  appropriate  and  eulogistic 
language  upon  the  record  book  of  the  association.  With  just 
pride  he,  in  his  official  capacity,  made  the  following  report,  as 
specially  required  by  the  Comptroller  of  the  Currency.  This 
document,  memorable  in  the  history  of  the  corporation,  de- 
serves reproduction  here: 

Special  report  of  condition  at  close  of  business  October  13  th  and 
November  1st,  made  to  the  Comptroller  of  the  Currency  November 
10,  1873: 

October  13  th      November  1st 

Loans  (not  including  demand) $1,772,435.02  $2,007,178.51 

Demand  loans 723,200.00  769,000.00 

United  States  bonds  on  hand 58,800.00  55,150.00 

Due  from  reserve  agents 306,923.15  265,309.99 

Due  from  other  banks  and  bankers    ...  165,141.25  163,350.05 

Exchange  for  clearing  house 252,389.73  349,304.22 

National  bank  notes 80,000.00  100,000.00 

Fractional  currency 7,985.26  6,131.28 

Coin 81,147.92  56,286.48 

Legal  tender 900,000.00  865,000.00 

Capital 1,000,000.00  1,000,000.00 

Circulating  notes  outstanding 587>575-°°  586,480.00 

Deposits  of  all  kinds 3,149,622.14  3,421,273.42 

Due  to  banks  and  bankers 1,054,402.38  1,198,598.75 

Questions.  Answers. 

Did  your  bank  suspend  currency  payments?  No. 

Did  your  bank  partially  suspend  currency  pay- 
ments? No. 
On  what  day  did  the  bank  suspend?  Did  not  suspend. 



After  this  date  remarkably  few  changes  occurred  in  the 
membership  of  the  board  of  directors.  In  1874  H.  M.  Wil- 
marth  succeeded  B.  F.  Allen.  In  1879  Horace  M.  Singer  was 
elected  in  place  of  Mancel  Talcott,  deceased.  Mr.  Talcott 
had  died  in  May,  1878;  as  "one  whose  long  and  devoted  serv- 
ices were  always  marked  by  the  high  qualities  of  personal 
integrity,  and  intelligent  appreciation  of  the  true  interests  of 
the  institution,"  his  loss  was  keenly  felt. 

A  notable  event  is  the  action  taken  on  December  30,  1879, 
in  reference  to  new  quarters.  At  a  meeting  of  the  board  of 
directors,  held  on  that  day,  Mr.  Porter  called  attention  to  the 
cramped  appearance  and  the  existing  inconveniences  in  the 
office  arrangements,  and  it  was  voted : 

"Whereas,  the  increase  of  business  of  this  bank  impera- 
tively demands  increase  of  room  and  facilities  to  properly  ac- 
commodate it,  therefore, 

"Resolved,  that  the  president  and  cashier  be  and  they  are 
hereby  appointed  a  committee  to  ascertain  and  report  upon  the 
feasibility  of  procuring  more,  whether  by  the  alteration  of 
present  building  and  purchasing  adjoining  lot,  or  by  the  sale 
of  present  building  and  the  purchase  of  new  lot." 

The  project  of  enlarging  the  structure  then  occupied  by  the 
institution  was  soon  found  impracticable;  consideration  was 
therefore  given  to  the  selection  of  another  site.  During  the 
summer  of  1880  the  decision  was  gradually  reached  that  the 
northwest  corner  of  Dearborn  and  Monroe  streets,  where  before 
the  fire  the  post-office  had  stood,  would  be  an  admirable  loca- 
tion.   This  lot  was  school  property.    In  the  original  proposi- 



tion  made  to  the  Board  of  Education  it  was  contemplated  to 
take  a  lease  for  fifty  years  with  an  additional  option  of  twenty 
years,  and  to  erect  a  fire-proof  building,  of  which  the  upper 
floor  should  be  rented  to  the  board  and  to  the  public  library. 
It  was  also  necessary  to  buy  out  the  leasehold  interest  held 
by  J.  H.  Haverly  in  the  old  post-office  building,  then  known 
as  the  Haverly  Theatre.  Arrangements  had  been  completed 
in  accordance  with  these  plans,  when  in  June,  1881,  a  change  in 
policy,  due  to  certain  provisions  of  the  National  Banking  Act, 
was  adopted.  It  was  determined  to  organize,  as  a  subsidiary 
corporation,  the  "National  Safe  Deposit  Company,"  with  a 
capital  of  $300,000  divided  into  three  thousand  shares  of  $100 
each.  The  bank  in  its  corporate  capacity  subscribed  for 
$299,100  of  this  stock,  the  remainder  being  taken  by  its  di- 
rectors as  individuals.  The  new  company  was  substituted  as 
lessee  in  the  pending  transaction.  The  annual  rental  for  the 
lot  during  the  first  five  years  was  fixed  at  six  per  cent  on  a 
valuation  of  $345,000,  and  it  was  stipulated  that  the  edifice 
to  be  constructed  should  cost  not  less  than  $300,000.  This 
offer  was  accepted  and  the  agreement,  as  executed,  began  to 
run  from  July  1,  1881.  Since  then  several  reappraisements  of 
the  ground  have  been  made.  The  bank  itself  in  time  took  from 
the  National  Safe  Deposit  Company  a  lease  of  the  main  floor 
of  the  block  then  immediately  erected.  The  new  quarters  were 
occupied  on  November  27,  1882. 

Again  to  quote  from  Industrial  Chicago : 

"The  First  National  Bank  building  is  a  six-story  and  base- 
ment structure,  Romanesque  in  style,  with  basement  and  first 
story  in  vermiculated  stone  and  the  upper  stories  in  pressed 
brick;    a  Roman-Doric  portico  shows  two  polished  granite 



columns  on  either  side  corresponding  with  pilasters  carrying  a 
heavy  entablature  and  balustrade.  In  the  central  and  corner 
pavilions  the  horizontal  style  of  the  recessed  sections  merges 
into  the  vertical.  The  portico  extends  to  the  level  of 
the  second  principal  floor,  and  piers  in  the  corner  project, 
corresponding  with  it,  thus  carrying  the  high  basement  and 
first  floor  in  one  story.  The  second  and  third  stories  are  also 
carried  in  one  by  pilasters,  and  the  fourth,  fifth,  and  sixth  are 
compressed  into  one  story  for  architectural  effect;  the  two 
windows  of  the  sixth  story  in  each  corner  pavilion  and  three 
in  the  central  pavilion  showing  the  round  arch  finishing  a 
section.  The  cornice  is  becoming,  and  the  parapets  above  it, 
in  the  pavilions,  render  the  sky-line  perfect.  This  house  oc- 
cupies the  site  of  the '  Honest  Building*  which  was  restored  after 
the  fire  and  used  up  to  1882,  when  it  was  torn  down.  The 
bank  hall,  occupying  the  first  floor,  is  lighted  by  a  great  court. 
While  the  mural  decorations  and  furniture  are  of  the  highest 
class,  they  are  lost  in  the  business  air  which  pervades  this  hall, 
so  that  to  pick  them  out  one  must  visit  the  bank  with  that  sole 

On  November  7,  1881,  resolutions  were  passed,  in  accord- 
ance with  which  the  capital  stock  was  increased  to  the  sum  of 
$2,000,000,  the  additional  amount  required  being  rapidly  sub- 
scribed. Thus  the  bank,  while  approaching  the  original  term 
of  its  existence,  was  daily  growing  and  developing  in  every 
direction.  Nor  were  those  charged  with  the  conservation  of  its 
interests  indifferent  or  ungrateful  to  the  men  upon  whom  the 
routine  labors  fell.  The  corporation  early  manifested  its  ap- 
preciation of  faithful  and  arduous  service.  A  pleasing  custom, 
soon  observed  by  the  board  of  directors,  was  that  of  voting, 



upon  the  recurrence  of  every  new  year,  substantial  gifts  to  the 
officers  and  employees  who  were  toiling  for  success  and  greater 
achievement.  This  practice  gradually  arose,  until  at  the 
close  of  1 88 1  perhaps  the  largest  sum  ever  thus  bestowed  was 
appropriated ;  $20,000  was  then  distributed.  Merit  and  ability 
were  likewise  always  rewarded  by  increase  of  salary  and  cor- 
responding promotion.  Several  instances  might  be  cited  of 
men,  who  from  the  ranks,  have  risen  to  lucrative  and  control- 
ling positions. 

With  the  advent  of  1882  the  association  was  necessarily 
obliged  to  anticipate  the  early  discontinuance  of  its  activities 
or  at  least  its  technical  reorganization.  The  hope  had  been 
cherished  that  Congress  would  pass  a  measure  enabling  national 
banks  to  prolong  the  term  of  their  existence,  or  renew  their 
charters  upon  conditions  which  might  permit  them  to  retain 
their  corporate  identity.  But  such  action  was  not  taken.  The 
bill  for  that  purpose  pending  in  the  spring  of  1882  was  long  and 
tediously  debated.  The  first  of  May,  when  the  privileges  of 
"The  First  National  Bank  of  Chicago,  Number  8,"  would 
expire,  was  not  many  weeks  distant.  After  serious  considera- 
tion, it  was  therefore  determined  to  be  best  that  the  institution 
should  go  into  voluntary  liquidation.  Its  property  was 
offered  for  sale ;  it  was  resolved  that  its  doors  should  be  closed 
on  Saturday,  April  29,  1882,  and  all  other  requisite  formalities 
were  executed.  Its  assets,  of  course,  were  without  delay 
transferred  to  its  legal  successor,  known  as  "The  First  National 
Bank  of  Chicago,  Number  2670."  The  books  were  balanced 
and  a  complete  settlement  of  affairs  was  made,  the  stockholders, 
in  conclusion,  receiving  $294.12  for  every  share  held. 

Such  is  the  record  of  prosperity  enjoyed  by  this  establish- 


'   I 



ment  during  the  period  of  its  first  organization,  extending  from 
1863  to  1882;  of  their  success,  the  men  who  attained  it  may- 
well  be  proud.  For  nearly  twenty  years  they  had  wisely  and 
diligently  worked  in  harmony;  to  another  term  of  equal  length 
they  were  eagerly  looking  forward,  for  the  second  corporation, 
while  then  by  law  newly  created,  was  in  the  personnel  of  its 
membership  still  one  and  the  same. 



THE  new  organization  was  completed  on  April  25,  1882, 
when  the  subscribers  to  the  stock  met,  adopted  a 
series  of  by-laws,  and  elected  a  board  of  directors. 
The  incorporators,  together    with    the  number   of 
shares  respectively  held  by  them,  were: 

Samuel  M.  Nickerson  ....   7100 

Lyman  J.  Gage 2334 

George  N.  Culver 100 

Matilda  P.  Nickerson  ....     200 

Thos.  P.  Smith 310 

George  W.  Higgins 350 

Henry  E.  Sawyer 200 

Moses  W.  Gray 120 

Roland  C.  Nickerson 20 

Henry  H.  Porter 300 

Edward  F.  Lawrence 220 

Nathaniel  K.  Fairbank. . .     300 

Mary  H.  Talcott 600 

Horace  M.  Singer 600 

William  W.  Kimball 28 

Samuel  W.  Allerton 1864 

Jane  A.  Brooks 100 


Franklin  D.  Gray 450 

Edward  C.  Sawyer 60 

Charles  H.  Curtis 100 

Isaac  Eldridge 40 

Magdelina  P,  Sample ....  50 

George  T.  Smith 300 

Richard  J.  Street 12 

Harry  C.  Sawyer 10 

Nelson  Morris 1000 

Henry  R.  Symonds 2250 

Henry  M.  Wilmarth  ....  400 

Theodore  A.  Shaw 100 

Stephen  B.  Roath 100 

Sarah  Morris 172 

John  M.  Williams 50 

William  J.  Wilson 100 

George  P.  Sanford 60 

The  total  capital  was  thus  $2,000,000,  divided  into 
twenty  thousand  shares  of  $100  each.  The  articles  of  associa- 
tion provided  that  the  charter  should  run  for  twenty  years,  or 
until  April  25,  1902;  that  the  capital  might  be  augmented, 
upon  certain  conditions,  to  a  sum  not  to  exceed  $10,000,000, 
and  that  the  number  of  directors  should  be  not  less  than  five  nor 



more  than  fifteen.  The  first  board  chosen  consisted  of  Samuel 
M.  Nickerson,  Edward  F.  Lawrence,  Nelson  Morris,  Franklin 
D.  Gray,  Henry  H.  Porter,  Lyman  J.  Gage,  Samuel  W.  Aller- 
ton,  Henry  M.  Wilmarth,  Horace  M.  Singer,  and  Henry  R. 
Symonds,  all  of  whom,  but  the  last  named  and  additional 
member,  had  served  under  the  old  regime.  When  the  directors 
assembled  they  elected  Samuel  M.  Nickerson  president,  and 
Franklin  D.  Gray  vice-president.  Lyman  J.  Gage  was  ap- 
pointed cashier,  and  Henry  R.  Symonds  assistant  cashier. 
From  this  list  of  names  it  is  at  once  apparent  that  the  present 
corporation  was  in  every  respect  not  only  the  continuation  but 
the  counterpart  of  its  predecessor.  Theoretically  and  legally 
they  were  different  entities,  but  practically  they  were  one  and 
the  same  institution.  On  May  I,  1882,  John  J.  Knox  the 
Comptroller  of  the  Currency,  authorized  the  commencement  of 
business  under  charter  known  as  Number  2670,  and  that  day 
the  bank  reopened  its  doors,  in  the  same  well-known  quarters, 
the  entire  assets  having  been  transferred  by  purchase  from  the 
liquidated  to  the  new  organization. 

Aside  from  the  radical  change  which  had  thus  occurred,  this 
year  was  also  in  several  respects  notable.  Within  one  week 
after  the  events  just  related,  the  decision  was  taken,  on  May  6, 
1882,  to  increase  the  capital  stock  to  $3,000,000,  a  resolution 
which  was  speedily  effected.  The  sale  of  the  old  building  on 
the  southwest  corner  of  State  and  Washington  streets,  for  the 
sum  of  $230,000,  was  concluded  on  June  5th.  On  June  26th 
the  policy  of  declaring  quarterly  dividends  was  adopted,  the 
first  of  two  per  cent  being  ordered  payable  at  the  end  of  that 
month;  on  the  same  day  Henry  M.  Kingman  was  appointed 
assistant  cashier.   One  of  the  most  important  incidents  in  the 



history  of  the  association  happened  September  4,  1882.  Upon 
this  occasion  Franklin  D.  Gray  resigned  as  vice-president,  a 
position  which  he  had  honorably  and  successfully  held  since 
1867.  Lyman  J.  Gage,  formerly  cashier,  was  promoted  to  be 
his  successor.  However  arduous  the  duties  of  Mr.  Gage  had 
heretofore  proven,  they  were  thenceforth  to  be  multiplied  many 
fold;  for  the  principal  executive  management  was  now  confided 
to  his  care.  Henry  R.  Symonds  was  chosen  cashier,  Henry  M. 
Kingman  assistant  cashier,  and  Richard  J.  Street  second 
assistant  cashier. 

At  the  meeting  of  December  26th  the  surplus  of  $100,000 
was  doubled,  and  an  appropriation  of  $20,000  made  for  New 
Year's  gifts  to  worthy  and  meritorious  employees. 

At  the  annual  session  of  the  stockholders  on  January  9, 
1883,  the  board  of  directors  was  increased  by  one  additional 
member,  and  Augustus  A.  Carpenter  was  chosen  to  fill  the 
place.  In  the  spring  the  banking  rooms  were  first  lighted  with 
electricity.  The  generally  excellent  facilities  then  enjoyed  for 
doing  business  are  evidenced  by  the  national  bank  examiner, 
who  writes,  "The  office  arrangements  are  far  superior  to  those 
of  any  other  institution  in  the  country."  The  rule  of  requiring 
all  employees  to  give  bond  was  likewise  now  adopted.  An  ad- 
ditional sum  of  $100,000  was,  in  December,  carried  to  the 
surplus  fund.  Otherwise  the  year  was  uneventful  in  the 
domestic  affairs  of  the  corporation.  Attention  should  never- 
theless be  directed  to  the  fact  that  the  bank,  as  appears  from  a 
comparison  of  the  reports  submitted  to  the  Comptroller  of  the 
Currency,  had  then  attained  fourth  rank  among  all  the  finan- 
cial establishments  of  the  United  States. 



During  1884  not  anything  of  importance,  save  the  further 
increase  of  the  surplus  by  $100,000,  is  to  be  noted.  The  state- 
ment of  condition  made  in  December,  1884,  showed: 


Loans  and  discounts $10,068,871.00 

United  States  bonds  (par  value) 80,600.00 

Other  bonds  and  stocks  (market  value) 544,850.00 

Bank  building 500,000.00 

Cash  resources: 
Checks  for  clearing  house  and  cash  on  hand 8,283,339.00 


Capital  stock  paid  in $  3,000,000.00 

Surplus  fund 400,000.00 

Other  undivided  profits 350,607.00 

Deposits 15,727,053.00 


The  election  of  directors  for  1885  resulted  in  the  return  of 
the  former  members  of  the  board ;  but  the  circle  was  soon  to  be 
broken,  for  on  February  27th,  Henry  M.  Wilmarth  was  called 
to  his  last  rest.  For  eleven  years  he  had  faithfully  conserved 
the  welfare  of  the  institution;  his  associates  in  its  management 
united  in  testifying  to  "the  high  integrity  and  clear  apprecia- 
tion of  principle  which  marked  his  every  act  and  word  in  this 
relationship."  In  the  following  autumn  Eugene  S.  Pike  was 
chosen  to  fill  the  vacancy. 

At  this  time  the  official  records  first  mention  the  arrange- 
ment of  the  bank  for  serving  its  employees  their  daily  lunch  in 
the  building.  In  the  report  of  the  national  examiner,  dated 
September,  1885,  a  paragraph  appears,  wherein  it  is  stated  that 



a  kitchen,  a  dining-room,  cooks  and  stewards  being  provided, 
"the  entire  force  from  president  to  janitor  take  their  midday 
meal  on  the  premises."  This  scheme  is  still  in  force.  Before 
the  close  of  the  year  an  additional  $100,000  was  carried  to  the 
surplus  fund,  and  a  contribution  of  $500  voted  to  the  memorial 
window  to  be  placed  in  the  Second  Universalist  Church  of 
Chicago  in  memory  of  the  late  Mancel  Talcott,  who  for  a 
decade  was  a  member  of  the  board  of  directors. 

During  1886  the  bank  was  silently  but  steadily  growing. 
On  February  13,  of  that  year,  the  Clerks'  Savings  Association 
was  formed  for  the  benefit  of  employees,  upon  whose  savings, 
under  certain  restrictions  interest  at  the  rate  of  five  per  cent 
per  annum  was  allowed.  The  Association  is  still  existant.  On 
March  31st  the  bank  joined  with  its  associate  institutions  in 
recommending  to  the  Comptroller  that  Chicago  be  designated, 
pursuant  to  the  act  of  Congress  of  March  3,  1887,  as  a  central 
reserve  city;  such  action  was  taken  in  due  course.  Slightly 
later  $250,000  was  likewise  added  to  the  surplus,  a  similar 
amount  being  once  more  appropriated  for  the  same  purpose  in 
June,  1888. 

In  January,  1888,  Horace  M.  Singer  retired,  after  nine 
years'  membership  on  the  board  of  directors,  and  Orville  Peck- 
ham,  long  employed  as  special  counsel,  was  chosen  to  succeed 
him.  Mr.  Peckham  served  until  1890,  and  again  from  1891 
to  1892.  During  1889  casn  prizes,  aggregating  in  the  total 
$600  annually,  were  also  inaugurated,  to  be  awarded  to  such 
clerks  as  should,  during  any  one  year,  prove  themselves  the 
most  efficient,  exact  in  their  duties,  and  the  most  apt  in  dis- 
covering errors.  In  order  to  determine  the  recipients,  a  com- 
plete system  of  daily  marking  was  instituted. 



Attention  may  here  also  be  especially  directed  to  the  bond 
and  foreign  departments,  the  business  of  which  was  already 
at  this  date  being  kept  entirely  separate  and  distinct  from  the 
other  divisions  of  the  bank. 

On  December  n,  1889,  the  statement  of  condition  showed: 


Loans  and  discounts $15,803,617.00 

United  States  bonds  (par  value) 57,200.00 

Other  bonds  and  stocks  (market  value) 881,550.00 

Real  estate,  furniture,  and  fixtures 500,000.00 

Cash  resources: 
Checks  for  clearing  house  and  cash  on  hand 12,357,180.00 


Capital  stock  paid  in $  3,000,000.00 

Surplus  fund 1,500,000.00 

Other  undivided  profits 797,107.00 

Deposits 24,302,440.00 


The  Very  last  day  of  the  year  $250,000  was  again  voted  to 
the  surplus  fund. 

At  the  annual  meeting  of  the  stockholders  on  January  14, 
1890,  Norman  B.  Ream  was  elected  a  director  in  the  place  of 
Mr.  Peckham;  otherwise  the  board  remained  unchanged.  One 
sign  of  rising  prosperity  during  the  year  was  the  increase  in 
the  rate  of  the  quarterly  dividends  from  two  and  one-half  per 
cent  to  three  per  cent.  For  some  time  previously  they  had 
been  declared  at  the  former  figure. 

When  the  board  of  directors  met,  on  January  23,  1891,  to 



organize,  the  following  letter  from  President  Nickerson  was 
presented  and  read: 

"Before  proceeding  to  the  election  of  officers  for  the  ensu- 
ing year,  I  wish  to  state  that  should  you  decide  to  elect  me 
president,  it  must  be  with  the  understanding  and  notice  that  I 
shall  resign  the  office  whenever  Mr.  L.  J.  Gage  shall  be  relieved 
from  his  duties  as  president  of  the  World's  Fair,  and  can  devote 
all  his  time  to  the  affairs  of  this  bank;  and  when  that  time 
arrives  I  shall  take  pleasure  in  co-operating  with  you  in  electing 
him  to  take  my  place,  if  you  then  decide  to  do  so.  It  would  be 
my  desire  to  continue  as  a  director  of  this  bank,  and  co-operate 
with  you  in  working  for  its  interests  and  success.  It  is  not  my 
intention  to  engage  in  any  other  business.  I  have  arrived 
at  a  time  of  life  when  I  feel  it  to  be  my  duty  to  delegate  to 
younger  heads  and  hands  the  responsibilities  that  are  involved 
in  the  position  I  have  held  in  this  bank  for  the  past  twenty-four 
years  as  president,  and  four  years  previously  as  vice-president, 
which  covers  the  entire  time  since  its  organization  in  1863.  The 
success  which  has  attended  this  bank  is  known  to  you  all.  For 
this  I  have  to  thank  the  directors  and  other  officers,  who,  by 
their  advice  and  labor,  have  made  this  success  possible.  Thank- 
ing you  for  your  many  evidences  of  confidence  and  goodwill, 
and  hoping  that  the  future  success  of  the  bank  may,  under  your 
direction,  be  equal  to  or  better  than  the  past,  I  await  your  de- 
cision as  indicated  above." 

Mr.  Nickerson  was  then  re-elected  to  the  presidency.  On 
June  30,  1 89 1,  he  resigned;  whereupon  the  following  resolution 
was  unanimously  adopted: 

M  Resolved,  that  the  thanks  of  the  stockholders  of  this  bank 


Southwest  Corner  State  and  Washington  Streets 


are  justly  due  to  Mr.  Samuel  M.  Nickerson  for  the  efficient  and 
faithful  manner  in  which,  for  so  many  years,  he  has  discharged 
the  duties  of  president  of  this  institution. 

"In  accepting  his  resignation  this  day  tendered,  this  board 
desires  to  place  on  record  its  high  appreciation  of  his  adminstra- 
tion.  We  congratulate  ourselves,  however,  that  in  his  retire- 
ment from  the  office  of  president,  the  bank  will  still  retain 
in  him  as  a  director  the  wise  counsel  which  his  long  experience 
has  so  well  qualified  him  to  give." 

The  board  forthwith  proceeded  to  elect  Lyman  J.  Gage 
president.  The  other  officers  then  chosen  were:  first  vice- 
president,  Henry  R.  Symonds;  second  vice-president,  Henry 
M.  Kingman;  cashier,  Richard  J.  Street;  assistant  cashier, 
Holmes  Hoge;  George  D.  Boulton  was  appointed  manager  of 
the  foreign  exchange  and  bond  department.  The  resignation 
of  Henry  H.  Porter,  who  had  been  a  director  for  thirteen  years, 
was  likewise  accepted,  and  Orville  Peckham,  as  heretofore 
noted,  designated  temporarily  to  succeed  him. 

Before  the  close  of  the  year  another  serious  loss  was  suffered 
in  the  death  of  the  second  vice-president,  Henry  M.  Kingman, 
who  for  a  long  period  and  in  several  capacities  had  been  in  the 
employ  of  the  bank.  He  died  on  December  16,  1891.  At  the 
meeting  of  the  board,  on  the  29th  of  that  month,  appropriate 
resolutions  were  unanimously  adopted.    They  read  in  part: 


Resolved,  that  this  board  deeply  feels  that  in  him  (Henry 
M.  Kingman)  the  bank  has  lost  a  long  tried  servant,  in  whom 
the  highest  integrity  was  united  with  a  clear  and  wide  com- 
prehension of  his  work  and  responsibility  as  a  banker  and  bank 
officer,  and  admirable  industry  and  address  in  the  performance 



of  that  work.  As  citizens  in  the  same  community  in  which  he 
lived,  we  lament  his  death  as  a  loss  which  must  be  heavily  felt 
in  the  wide  sphere  of  usefulness  beyond  that  special  field  which 
he  shared  with  us;  and  individually  we  mourn  him  and  re- 
member him  with  affection  as  a  true  and  helpful  friend." 

At  the  opening  of  1892  a  new  force  entered  the  councils  of 
the  institution.  James  B.  Forgan,  formerly  cashier  of  the 
Northwestern  National  Bank  of  Minneapolis,  Minnesota,  then 
became  a  director,  and  likewise  second  vice-president.  He  was 
not,  however,  destined  long  to  remain  in  this  latter  position, 
for  the  way  was  soon  free  for  his  promotion.  The  hand  of 
time  was  being  heavily  laid  upon  those  who  had  faithfully 
and  arduously  served  the  interests  of  the  corporation.  On 
March  26,  1892,  the  bank  was  called  to  mourn  Henry  R. 
Symonds,  its  first  vice-president,  who  had  been  connected  with 
it  for  nearly  a  quarter  of  a  century.  The  directors,  at  the  sug- 
gestion of  Mr.  Allerton,  formally  testified  to  their  grief  in  these 
words : 

"His  clear  comprehension  of  the  great  trust  imposed  upon 
him;  his  earnest  application  to  duty;  his  scrupulous  regard 
for  the  interests  he  represented;  his  prudence,  fortitude,  and 
courage,  made  his  official  life  most  effective  and  valuable." 

In  due  course  James  B.  Forgan  was  chosen  first  vice-presi- 
dent and  Roland  C.  Nickerson  was  selected  to  succeed  Mr. 
Symonds  on  the  board. 

On  October  25,  1892,  the  sum  of  $300,000  was  subscribed 
to  the  bonds  of  the  Columbian  Exposition,  this  amount  being 
the  proportionate  share  of  the  institution  upon  the  basis  of  a 



total  of  $2,300,000  to  be  contributed  by  all  the  banks  of  the 
city,  reckoned  at  the  rate  of  five  per  cent  on  their  capital  and 
surplus.  At  the  close  of  the  year  $1,000,000  more  was  trans- 
ferred to  the  last-mentioned  fund. 

During  1893  Frank  E.  Brown  was  elected  second  assistant 
cashier.  Owing  to  the  large  accumulation  of  old  books,  papers, 
and  records,  a  special  storehouse  for  them  was  erected  about 
this  time. 

The  statement  of  condition  on  December  19,  1894,  showed: 


Loans  and  discounts $17,884,431.00 

United  States  bonds  (par  value) 778,636.00 

Other  bonds  and  stocks  (market  value) 1,605,378.00 

Real  estate,  furniture,  and  fixtures 675,000.00 

Cash  resources: 

Checks  for  clearing  house  and  cash  on  hand 14,725,241.00 


Capital  stock  paid  in $  3,000,000.00 

Surplus  fund 3,000,000.00 

Other  undivided  profits 316,135.00 

Deposits 29,352,551.00 


Throughout  1895  the  continued  depression  in  all  lines  of 
business  was  severely  felt.  For  a  number  of  years  the  institu- 
tion had  phenomenally  prospered.  Hence  it  was  without  any 
grave  misgivings  that  the  directors  faced  the  existing  financial 
crisis.  Nevertheless  they  did  not  deceive  themselves  with  any 
false  views  or  rosy-hued  dreams.  They  met  conditions  as 
they  found  them,  and  having  decided  to  rid  the  books  of  all 



doubtful  and  worthless  assets,  they  resolutely  determined  to 
take  the  stockholders  into  their  full  confidence.  To  this  end, 
after  due  deliberation,  it  was,  on  August  2,  1895,  voted: 

"Resolved,  that  the  officers  of  this  bank  be,  and  they  are 
hereby  directed  to  transfer  one  million  of  dollars  from  the 
credit  of  surplus  account  to  the  credit  of  profit  and  loss  account, 
and  then  to  charge  into  the  latter  account  such  items  of  real 
estate  as  have  been  taken  by  the  bank  in  settlement  of  claims ; 
also  such  items  of  impaired  notes  and  bills  as  may  in  their 
opinion  be  bad,  or  such  proportion  thereof  as  they  may  deem 
necessary  to  bring  the  same  to  the  value  of  a  fair  cash  realiza- 
tion, together  with  any  items  of  stocks  or  bonds  of  doubtful 
value;  and  they  are  hereby  directed  to  make  a  full  report  of 
all  such  items  as  charged  at  the  next  regular  meeting  of  this 

"Resolved,  that  the  address  to  stockholders  indicative  of 
this  action,  here  submitted  by  the  president,  be  adopted  and 
spread  upon  the  records,  and  a  copy  thereof  be  sent  to  the 
stockholders,  to  wit: 

Chicago,  III.,  July  30,   1895. 

We  submit  herewith,  for  information  of  shareholders,  the  follow- 
ing statement  of  facts: 

This  bank  (present  organization)  began  business  May  1,  1882, 
practically  thirteen  years  ago.     Since  that  date  it  has  paid: 

To  shareholders  in  the  way  of  dividends $4,245,000 

In  city,  county,  and  state  taxes  for  its  shareholders 792,000 

It  has  to  the  credit  of  surplus  account      3,000,000 

And  in  undivided  profits 2 15,000 

Total  net  earnings $8,252,000 



Average  earnings  per  year,  say $634,000 

Average  annual  percentage  of  profits  on  its  capital  of 

$3,000,000 21.13% 

Average  dividends  paid  to  shareholders 10.88% 

Average  dividends  for  last  six  years 12.00% 

"It  has  now  been  determined  by  the  directors  to  transfer 
$1,000,000  from  surplus  account  to  the  credit  of  profit  and  loss, 
and  then  charge  into  the  latter  account  items  of  impaired  bills, 
stocks  of  uncertain  value,  together  with  sundry  items  of  real 
estate  falling  into  the  bank's  hands  through  settlement  of 
claims,  etc.,  so  that  such  items  will  no  longer  be  reckoned  as 
live  assets  of  the  bank,  but  as  realized  upon,  will  again  appear 
to  the  credit  of  profit  and  loss  in  the  amount  of  their  actual 
realization.  With  the  million  dollars  put  aside  out  of  the  ac- 
cumulated profits  and  thus  applied,  the  result  of  the  bank's 
business  as  to  profits  would  appear  as  follows : 

Profits  paid  in  dividends $4,245,000 

Profits  paid  in  taxes 792,000 

To  credit  of  surplus  account 2,000,000 

To  credit  of  profit  and  loss 215,000 


Average  net  profit  per  annum 557,846 

Average  per  cent  of  earnings  on  capital  of  $3,000,000 18.59% 

"The  officers  and  directors  are  moved  to  this  action  by  a 
desire  to  keep  the  assets  clear  of  doubtful  values.  With  the 
usual  average  of  surplus  earnings  in  excess  of  dividends  made, 
the  directors  believe  that  such  items  of  doubtful  value  might 
be  taken  care  of,  as  actual  loss  is  defined,  but  they  think  it 
better  to  adopt  the  bolder,  broader  policy  herein  indicated. 
The  growing  burden  of  taxation  is  severe  enough  if  levied  only 



against  absolute  value.  The  reduction  of  surplus  should  save 
one-sixth  of  the  local  taxes,  the  full  amount  of  which  last  year 
was  $90,250. 

"We  have  been  passing  through  a  period  of  shrinking  values 
and  commercial  depression,  unparalleled  in  twenty  years. 
Whether  this  period  is  fully  past  cannot  yet  be  determined  with 
certainty.  Until  so  determined  it  will  be  our  policy  to  restrict 
operations  and  to  carry  large  cash  reserves  against  all  con- 
tingencies. Net  profits  may  be  somewhat  less  than  could  be 
desired,  but  we  see  no  reason  why  our  established  rate  of 
dividend,  three  per  cent,  quarterly,  cannot  be  continued,  with  a 
growing  balance  to  the  credit  of  profit  and  loss  account  at  each 
quarterly  period." 

This  action  placed  the  institution  on  a  thoroughly  sound 
basis.  There  was  no  undue  inflation.  Every  figure  was 
warranted  by  the  facts,  and  the  road  was  again  clear  for 
further  unimpeded  advancement.  Toward  the  close  of  this 
same  year  (1895)  an  arrangement  was  perfected  with  the 
other  banks  in  the  clearing  house  approving  the  use  of  clear- 
ing-house certificates,  in  case  of  need,  but  none  were  issued. 

Upon  the  election  of  Mr.  McKinley  in  1896,  it  was  at  once 
suggested  that  Mr.  Gage  should  enter  the  new  cabinet  as  the 
recipient  of  the  treasury  portfolio.  In  due  time  the  offer  was 
made  and  accepted.  The  assumption  of  this  post  naturally 
necessitated  the  severance  of  his  relations  with  the  bank.  At 
a  meeting  of  the  board  of  directors,  held  on  February  II,  1897, 
Mr.  Gage  tendered  his  resignation  and  it  was  thereupon  unan- 
imously voted: 


Whereas,  Lyman  J.  Gage,  president  of  this  bank  and  a 



member  of  this  board,  has  tendered  his  resignation  of  both 
positions  in  order  that  he  may  enter  the  Cabinet  of  President 
McKinley : 

"Therefore  resolved,  that,  deferring  to  his  wish,  which  we 
are  aware  signifies  no  selfish  preference,  but  springs  from  a  high 
sense  of  public  duty,  we  hereby  accept  these  resignations,  to 
take  effect  at  the  close  of  business  February  15th  next,  the  time 
mentioned  by  him.  In  thus  yielding  to  the  request  of  Mr. 
Gage  to  sever  a  connection  that  has  existed  for  thirty  years, 
and  submitting  to  the  deprivation  of  his  counsel  and  official 
direction  in  the  management  of  the  bank,  we  desire  to  bear 
testimony  to  the  universal  respect  and  affection  felt  for  him 
by  all  his  associates,  as  well  as  to  express  our  appreciation  of 
the  tact,  ability,  and  probity  which  he  has  so  faithfully  used 
to  develop  the  strength  of  this  institution,  and  which  with  his 
many  other  rare  qualities  signalize  him  as  a  citizen. 

"As  he  leaves  us  to  become  Secretary  of  the  Treasury,  a 
position  for  which  his  peculiar  fitness  has  been  so  generally 
recognized  by  the  whole  country,  we  are  filled  with  the  hope 
that  his  efforts  in  the  broad  field  of  national  affairs  will  be 
marked  by  the  same  success  that  has  distinguished  his  career 
as  a  banker. 

"Resolved,  that  this  resolution  be  spread  upon  the  records 
of  the  bank,  and  that  a  copy  be  given  to  Mr.  Gage." 

With  the  retirement  of  Mr.  Gage  from  all  connection  with 
the  bank,  it  was  expected  that  James  B.  Forgan  would  succeed 
him  as  the  head  of  the  institution,  but  owing  to  the  condition 
of  this  gentleman's  health  at  that  time,  and  his  enforced  ab- 
sence for  this  reason  in  Europe,  the  immediate  fruition  of  these 



plans  was  deemed  impracticable.  A  temporary  arrangement 
was  therefore  reached  in  the  resumption  of  the  presidency  by 
Samuel  M.  Nickerson  and  the  continuance  of  James  B.  Forgan 
as  vice-president,  with  the  understanding  that  the  latter  would 
be  elected  to  the  presidency  as  soon  as  his  health  should  have 
sufficiently  improved.  George  D.  Boulton,  who  had  for  many 
years  been  serving  in  various  capacities,  was  chosen  to  succeed 
Mr.  Gage  on  the  board  of  directors,  and  was  likewise  elected 
second  vice-president. 

In  December,  1898,  the  bank  suffered  loss  in  the  death  of 
Edward  F.  Lawrence,  who,  since  1870,  had  sat  almost  con- 
tinuously on  the  board  of  directors,  and  had,  during  that 
entire  period,  rendered  distinguished  and  valuable  services. 
The  following  resolution  attests  the  love  and  esteem  in  which 
he  was  held. 


'Resolved,  that  we  now  express  our  deep  and  abid- 
ing sense  of  the  loss  which  has  befallen  this  institution 
which  he  loved  and  served,  and  ourselves  as  his  colleagues  and 
friends.  His  service  as  a  director  was  made  of  uncommon  value 
by  the  excellence  of  his  business  judgment,  and  the  large 
measure  of  time  which  he  devoted  to  the  bank  willingly  and 
without  stint.  His  methods  were  ever  straightforward  and 
honorable,  bearing  the  mark  of  his  fine  integrity  and  open  and 
generous  character.  He  won  the  confidence  of  all  who  knew 
him  by  deserving  it.  He  was  a  public-spirited  and  useful 
citizen,  giving  freely  of  his  time  and  means  to  promote  the 
best  interests  of  Chicago." 

At  the  next  annual  meeting  of  the  stockholders  George  T. 
Smith  was  chosen  a  director  to  succeed  Mr.  Lawrence. 


After  the  Fire  of  1871 


In  the  spring  of  1899,  at  the  instance  of  Vice-President  J.  B. 
Forgan,  an  important  step  in  accord  with  modern  thought  and 
policy  was  taken.  A  committee  was,  on  March  28th,  ap- 
pointed to  consider  the  feasibility  of  establishing  a  system  of 
pensions  for  old  employees;  if  advisable,  it  was  directed  to 
prepare  and  submit  to  the  board  the  outlines  of  a  plan  to  effect 
this  purpose.  One  month  later  a  report  favorable  to  the 
project  was  presented,  and  the  adoption  of  a  set  of  rules  was 

On  October  31st  Mr.  Nickerson  verbally  stated  to  the 
board  of  directors  his  intention  again  to  retire  from  the  presi- 
dency at  the  beginning  of  the  next  year.  Before  the  close  of 
1899  another  veteran  of  prominence  and  distinction  in  its 
affairs  also  severed  his  official  connection  with  the  institution. 
At  the  meeting  of  December  26th  the  resignation  of  Franklin 
D.  Gray  was  read  and  accepted,  with  the  following  formal 
expression : 


'Resolved,  that  in  taking  this  action  we  desire  to  express 
to  Mr.  Gray  and  to  place  upon  our  records  our  sense  of  the 
faithfulness  and  value  of  his  long  service,  and  to  thank  him 
therefor  in  the  name  of  the  bank.  He  has  been  a  director  in 
the  present  bank  from  the  date  of  its  organization,  prior  to 
which  time  he  had  served  the  original  First  National  Bank  of 
Chicago  since  1866  in  the  same  capacity,  making  a  practically 
continuous  service  of  some  thirty-three  years.  For  fifteen 
years  he  was  also  vice-president  of  the  original  bank.  This 
long  and  honorable  connection  is  now  severed  with  regret  on 
both  sides  and  at  Mr.  Gray's  request;  and  the  thanks  of  this 
board  in  behalf  of  the  bank  are  hereby  tendered  to  him." 



Upon  this  same  occasion,  and  in  view  of  his  impending  re- 
tirement from  the  active  control,  a  formal  request  was  made  of 
Mr.  Nickerson  that  he  sit  for  a  life-sized  oil  portrait  to  be  hung 
upon  the  walls  of  the  president's  room.  In  due  course  this 
picture  was  painted  and  presented  by  him  as  a  gift  to  the 

On  January  9, 1900,  the  stockholders  elected  Otto  Young  to 
succeed  Franklin  D.  Gray,  resigned,  and  Charles  H.  Conover 
in  the  place  of  Roland  C.  Nickerson,  on  the  board  of  directors. 
Thereupon  James  B.  Forgan  was  chosen  president;  George  D. 
Boulton,  vice-president;  Richard  J.  Street,  cashier;  Holmes 
Hoge,  Frank  E.  Brown,  and  Charles  N.  Gillett,  assistant 
cashiers;  Emile  K.  Boisot,  manager  of  the  foreign  exchange 
and  bond  department;  John  E.  Gardin,  assistant  manager  of 
same  department,  and  Frank  O.  Wetmore,  auditor. 

Augustus  A.  Carpenter,  a  member  of  the  board  for  seven- 
teen years,  tendered  his  resignation  on  June  26,  1900,  the 
directors  testifying  that  "we  desire  to  express  to  him  our  high 
appreciation  of  him  as  a  man  and  as  a  director  of  this  bank 
during  his  long  term  of  service,  and  to  thank  him  for  these 
valuable  services.  He  entered  the  directory  of  this  bank  on 
January  9,  1883,  and  has  served  thereon  continuously  up  to  the 
present  time.  We  deem  it  a  privilege  to  have  been  associated 
with  him  in  the  bank's  affairs,  and  the  severance  of  his  con- 
nection with  us  causes  deep  feelings  of  regret." 

A  momentous  change  was  now  on  the  eve  of  achievement. 
Consolidation  of  capital  had  become  the  prevailing  characteris- 
tic of  the  age.  With  the  increase  in  the  magnitude  of  industrial 
corporations,  the  financial  interests  of  the  country  must  keep 



pace.  In  order  to  afford  the  accommodation  at  times  required 
by  manufacturing  and  commercial  establishments  of  the  first 
rank,  the  department  of  credit  must  be  organized  on  a  similar 
scale.  The  appreciation  of  these  truths  necessarily  demanded 
the  extension  of  the  facilities  of  banks,  notwithstanding  the 
fact  that  they  may  already  have  been  in  the  enjoyment  of 
large  resources  and  the  best  possible  equipment.  Speedily 
and  efficaciously  to  satisfy  these  requirements  it  seemed  most 
expedient  in  such  instances  to  unite  the  energies  of  two  or  more 
pre-existing  institutions.  In  accordance  with  this  tendency, 
the  First  National  Bank  and  the  Union  National  Bank,  both 
veterans  and  old-time  rivals  in  the  financial  world  of  Chicago, 
entered  into  negotiations  during  the  spring  of  1900,  for  the 
purpose  of  determining  upon  what  basis  they  might  combine 
their  forces. 

In  June,  1900,  President  Forgan,  together  with  Directors 
Smith  and  Young,  were  appointed  on  the  part  of  the  former  to 
meet  the  representatives  of  the  other  bank  for  a  preliminary 
discussion  of  the  proposition.  Pursuant  to  the  suggestion  sub- 
sequently made  by  this  committee,  a  call  was  issued,  on  June 
19th,  to  the  stockholders,  summoning  a  special  meeting  for 
July  24th,  to  consider  the  advisability  of  augmenting  the  stock 
of  the  First  National  Bank  to  $5,000,000,  and  for  such  other 
action  as  might  be  taken. 

On  the  day  appointed  the  stockholders  assembled,  passed 
the  requisite  resolutions  to  fix  the  capital  at  $5,000,000;  and 
enlarging  the  number  of  directors  to  fifteen,  as  provided  in  the 
by-laws,  elected  John  H.  Barker,  William  L.  Brown,  D.  Mark 
Cummings,  and  John  A.  Spoor,  all  formerly  on  the  directory  of 
the  Union  National  Bank,  as  the  additional  members.     David 



R.  Forgan,  lately  president  of  the  Union  National  Bank,  was 
elected  to  fill  the  vacancy  occasioned  by  the  resignation  of 
Mr.  Carpenter,  and  further  chosen  senior  vice-president. 
August  Blum,  formerly  cashier  of  the  liquidating  bank,  was  like- 
wise named  one  of  the  assistant  cashiers  to  rank  second  in 
point  of  seniority. 

With  these  proceedings  and  the  purchase  of  the  assets  of 
the  Union  National  Bank — the  new  stock  of  the  First  National 
Bank,  issued  for  such  purpose,  being  subscribed  by  the  former 
stockholders  of  the  retiring  institution — the  amalgamation  was 
effected  September  I,  1900.  As  a  record  of  the  magnitude  of 
the  transaction  and  the  interests  involved,  it  seems  appropriate 
to  show  the  respective  conditions  of  the  two  banks  just  prior 
to  this  event.  The  statement  of  the  First  National  Bank  on 
June  29,  1900,  showed: 


Loans $28,710,352.00 

United  States  bonds  (to  secure  circulation) 700,000.00 

United  States  bonds  (to  secure  U.  S.  deposits) 300,000.00 

United  States  bonds  on  hand 234,550.00 

Other  bonds 4, 572,497.00 

Cash  and  exchange    21,757,276.00 



Capital  and  surplus $  5,000,000.00 

Undivided  profits 673,802.00 

Circulation 554>33o.oo 

Deposits 50,046,543.00 



The  Union  National  Bank,  on  the  same  date,  reported: 


Loans $10,140,410.00 

United  States  bonds  (to  secure  circulation) 700,000.00 

Other  bonds    197,802.00 

Cash  and  exchange    6,017,871.00 

Real  estate  and  fixtures 3 14,805.00 

Premiums  on  United  States  bonds 31,550,00 


Capital  and  surplus $  2,370,000.00 

Undivided  profits 74,703.00 

Circulation 350,000.00 

Deposits 14,607,735.00 



After  the  consolidation  had  been  concluded,  the  statement 
of  the  First  National  Bank  on  September  5,  1900,  read: 


Loans $39,2 19,804.00 

United  States  bonds  (to  secure  circulation) 1,000,000.00 

United  States  bonds  (to  secure  U.  S.  deposits) 300,000.00 

United  States  bonds  on  hand 174,080.00 

Other  bonds    5,530,291.00 

Cash  and  exchange    29,793,035.00 


Capital  and  surplus $  7,000,000.00 

Undivided  profits 1,517,040.00 

Circulation 533 ,300.00 

Deposits 66,966,870.00 



At  the  annual  election  of  190 1  the  first  complete  board  of 
directors  chosen  under  the  new  regime  was  composed  of  Samuel 
M.  Nickerson,  Samuel  W.  Allerton,  Nelson  Morris,  Eugene  S. 
Pike,  Norman  B.  Ream,  James  B.  Forgan,  George  D.  Boulton, 
George  T.  Smith,  Otto  Young,  Charles  H.  Conover,  John  H. 
Barker,  William  L.  Brown,  D.  Mark  Cummings,  John  A.  Spoor, 
and  David  R.  Forgan.  The  officers  then  named  were:  Presi- 
dent, James  B.  Forgan;  vice-presidents,  David  R.  Forgan  and 
George  D.  Boulton;  cashier,  Richard  J.  Street;  assistant 
cashiers,  Holmes  Hoge,  August  Blum,  Frank  E.  Brown,  Charles 
N.  Gillett;  manager  of  foreign  exchange  and  bond  department, 
Emile  K.  Boisot;  assistant  manager,  John  E.  Gardin;  auditor, 
Frank  O.  Wetmore;  attorney,  Orville  Peckham;  assistant 
attorney,  James  D.  Woley. 

In  the  practical  working  of  the  bank  a  slight  change  sub- 
sequently occurred.  On  June  25,  1901,  the  foreign  exchange 
and  bond  business  was  separated  into  two  distinct  departments. 
Of  the  former  John  E.  Gardin  was  appointed  manager,  and  Max 
May  assistant  manager;  of  the  latter  Emile  K.  Boisot  re- 
mained in  charge  as  manager. 

As  indicative  .of  the  magnitude  of  the  transactions  of  the 
bank  during  1 901,  it  may  be  noted  that  in  that  year  the  average 
number  of  items  handled  each  day  was  64,402 ;  the  total  volume 
of  business  aggregated  $8,199,570,400;  the  out-of-town  items 
collected  daily  averaged  11,030;  the  clearings  during  the 
entire  year  were  $1,550,471,975.78,  equivalent  to  $5,000,000 
per  day.  The  total  annual  clearings  of  all  the  Chicago  banks 
were  $7,756,372,455.31,  showing  that  the  share  of  the  First 
National  Bank  therein  was  one-fifth.  As  indicative  of  the 
growth  both  of  the  bank  and  the  city  the  clearings  for  19 12 



may  be  quoted;  for  the  First  National  Bank  they  were  $3,- 
309,322,58048  while  for  Chicago  the  figures  were  $15,380,- 
795,541.82,  this  bank  having  21.5  per  cent  of  the  total. 

The  tendency  toward  the  amalgamation  of  financial  forces, 
as  illustrated  in  the  consolidation  of  the  Union  National  Bank 
with  the  First  National  Bank,  was  still  further  exemplified  in 
the  spring  of  1902  by  the  absorption  of  the  Metropolitan  Na- 
tional Bank  in  the  latter  institution.  The  management  of  the 
Metropolitan — in  itself  of  large  proportions,  as  measured  by 
the  standards  of  quite  a  recent  day — deemed  it  for  the  best 
interests  of  those  identified  with  it  to  seek  association  with 
some  larger  bank.  After  a  prosperous  existence  of  eighteen 
years  it  was  considered  advisable  to  combine  its  strength  with 
that  of  its  well-known  competitor.  Thus  it  came  to  pass  that 
after  the  usual  negotiations  and  formalities  attendant  upon 
such  a  transaction  the  merger  was  accomplished.  In  the  last 
officially  published  statement,  dated  April  30,  1902,  the  Metro- 
politan National  Bank  showed  assets  and  liabilities  as  follows : 


Loans  and  discounts $14,727,611.61 

Overdrafts  secured  and  unsecured 4,758.83 

United  States  bonds  (at  par) 1,000,000.00 

Other  stocks  and  bonds 860,233.33 

Due  from  banks $3>°97>655.oo 

Cash  and  checks  for  clearing 7,002,948.89  10,100,603.98 

Due  from  United  States  Treasurer 42,000=00 




Capital  stock  paid  in $  2,000,000.00 

Surplus  fund  and  undivided  profits 1,626,287.98 

National  bank  notes  outstanding 834,150.00 

Dividends  unpaid 1,504.50 

Deposits 22,273,265.27 


Shortly  after  the  consolidation,  which  was  finally  con- 
summated on  June  2,  1902,  the  statement  of  the  First  National 
Bank,  issued  upon  the  call  of  the  Comptroller  of  the  Currency 
July  16,  1902,  reads: 


Loans  and  discounts $60,714,406.72 

United  States  bonds  (par  value) 1,794,740.00 

Other  bonds  and  securities  (market  value) 7,802,249.44 

Cash  resources: 

Due  from  banks  (Eastern  exchange)  $15,238,725.99 

Checks  for  clearing  house 3,024,650.22 

Cash  on  hand 19,626,408.04 

Due  from  United  States  Treasurer.  169,000.00     38,058,784.25 


Capital  stock  paid  in $  8,000,000.00 

Surplus  fund 4,000,000.00 

Undivided  profits 2,095,966.41 

Discount  collected  but  not  earned    378,268.78 

Special  deposit  of  United  States  bonds 200,000.00 

Circulating  notes  received  from  Comp- 
troller        $996,000.00 

Less  amount  on  hand 265,810.00  730,190.00 

Dividends  unpaid 7,796.00 

Deposits 92,957,959.22 


I      ■ 

>        1     >       >     »    J        , 

•     1   •'    •    ■     I    , 

I       I   >  J  1 

Northwest  Corner  Dearborn  and  Monroe  Streets 

.    .    I  ,  • 


As  a  part  of  the  arrangement  for  the  union  of  the  two  banks, 
Elbridge  G.  Keith,  Adolphus  C.  Bartlett,  and  William  J. 
Watson,  formerly  directors  in  the  Metropolitan  National 
Bank,  were  chosen  to  represent  the  interests  of  the  liquidating 
institution  upon  the  directorate  of  the  First  National  Bank. 
Charles  H.  Conover  at  the  same  time  retired  from  the  board 
of  the  latter.  All  the  former  officers  of  the  First  National 
Bank  were  retained;  of  the  gentlemen  lately  associated  with 
the  Metropolitan,  other  than  those  already  mentioned,  Howard 
H.  Hitchcock  was  elected  a  vice-president  to  rank  third  in 
seniority,  and  Edward  Dickinson  as  assistant  cashier,  likewise 
to  be  third  among  those  occupying  such  positions.  In  both 
consolidations  positions  for  the  clerical  forces,  corresponding 
as  nearly  as  possible  to  those  held  in  their  respective  institu- 
tions, were  provided  in  the  First  National  Bank,  provision 
being  made  for  credit  in  the  pension  fund  for  previous  service. 

At  the  close  of  the  year  1902,  the  surplus  was  increased  by 
the  transfer  of  one  million  dollars  from  the  profit  and  loss 

The  bank's  charter  was  extended  under  date  of  April  25, 
1902,  for  a  period  of  twenty  years,  in  accordance  with  the  Act 
approved  July  12,  1882,  formal  consent  having  been  secured 
from  shareholders,  representing  more  than  two-thirds  of  the 
stock  outstanding.  In  recognition  of  the  desirability  of  a 
larger  board  of  directors  commensurate  with  increased  and 
growing  business  the  articles  of  association  were  amended  to 
provide  for  twenty-one  members,  the  following  gentlemen, 
chosen  at  the  annual  meeting  in  January  of  1903,  served 
throughout  the  year,  being  re-elected  January  12,  1904: 



Samuel  W.  Allerton,  A.  C.  Bartlett,  James  B.  Forgan, 
Nelson  Morris,  Norman  B.  Ream,  William  L.  Brown,  John  H. 
Barker,  David  R.  Forgan,  Samuel  M.  Nickerson,  George  T# 
Smith,  Geo.  D.  Boulton,  D.  Mark  Cummings,  Elbridge  G. 
Keith,  Eugene  S.  Pike,  John  A.  Spoor,  William  J.  Watson, 
Otto  Young,  James  H.  Hyde,  Charles  Deering,  Henry  H. 
Porter,  Jr.,  George  F.  Baker 

The  era  marked  by  consolidations  may  be  fairly  regarded 
as  having  closed.  The  story  of  a  new  epoch  equally  remark- 
able, but  in  other  directions,  remains  to  be  told. 



WHEN  the  First  National  Bank  originally  occupied 
quarters  at  the  northwest  corner  of  Dearborn 
and  Monroe  streets  in  1882,  they  were  considered 
ample  for  a  long  term  of  years.  The  National 
Safe  Deposit  Company,  the  entire  capital  stock  of  which  was 
then  owned  by  the  bank,  had  erected  upon  ground  leased  from 
the  Board  of  Education  an  edifice  especially  for  the  accom- 
modation of  the  First  National  Bank. 

During  the  twenty  years  following  the  business  of  the 
bank  increased  in  an  ever-ascending  ratio,  and  gradually  the 
space  used  by  it  became  more  and  more  crowded — although 
both  the  basement  and  some  other  portions  of  the  building 
had  been  taken  for  various  purposes — until  at  length  the  neces- 
sity for  relief  by  the  construction  of  an  entirely  new  edifice 
became  imperative. 

The  decision  was  therefore  taken,  that  the  erection  of  a  new 
building  upon  the  present  site  and  such  adjoining  ground  as 
might  be  secured  by  purchase  was  not  only  necessary,  but 
perfectly  feasible.  Pursuant  to  this  plan,  after  considerable 
negotiation,  the  National  Safe  Deposit  Company  bought,  at 
an  approximate  cost  of  one  million  dollars,  the  two  properties 
on  Monroe  street  just  west  of  the  ground  held  under  lease,  on 
which  stood  the  Montauk  Block,  a  structure  ten  stories  high, 
one  of  the  earliest  skyscrapers  built  in  Chicago,  and  the  build- 
ing of  Bradner  Smith  &  Co.,  a  wholesale  paper  house;  which 
included  a  frontage  of  one  hundred  and  twenty-three  feet,  and 
with  the  one  hundred  and  eight  feet  leased  from  the  Board  of 



Education,  makes  a  total  of  two  hundred  and  thirty-one  feet 
frontage  on  Monroe  street  controlled  by  the  bank.  The 
frontage  on  Dearborn  street  is  one  hundred  and  ninety-one 
feet.  Upon  this  entire  property,  including  an  area  of  forty-four 
thousand  one  hundred  and  twenty-one  square  feet,  a  building 
eighteen  stories  in  height  was  erected,  inclosing  more  than  ten 
and  one-half  millions  of  cubic  feet.  The  cost,  estimated  at 
five  million  dollars,  was  provided  by  an  increase  in  the  capital 
of  the  National  Safe  Deposit  Company  to  the  sum  of  two 
million  five  hundred  thousand  dollars,  one  half  of  which  was 
retained  by  the  bank  and  the  other  half  was  subscribed  by  the 
bank's  shareholders,  and  by  the  issue  of  a  similar  amount  of 
four  per  cent  bonds.  Though  the  expense  exceeded  this  es- 
timate considerably,  the  company  was  able  to  successfully 
carry  the  burden,  and  later  when  justified  by  its  earnings, 
capitalized  the  value  by  a  stock  dividend  of  forty  per  cent, 
amounting  to  $1,000,000. 

The  building  practically  fronts  on  four  sides,  there  being  an 
alley  on  the  north  and  a  court  on  the  west.  There  is  also  an 
interior  court  measuring  sixty  by  ninety  feet,  thus  providing 
ample  light  and  ventilation.  The  construction  is  entirely  fire- 
proof. The  exterior  walls  are  faced  with  granite  and  the  court 
walls  with  white  enameled  brick. 

In  general  the  design  of  the  building  is  in  the  old  Roman 
style.  The  first  three  floors,  sixty  feet  in  height,  which  are 
occupied  by  the  bank  and  its  affiliated  institutions,  are  marked 
by  a  cornice  supported  on  massive  Doric  pilasters,  forty  feet 
in  height,  inclosing  the  arched  openings  of  the  bank  proper. 
The  aggregate  height  of  these  three  lower  stories  is  equal  to 
that  of  an  ordinary  five  story  building.     The  banking  room  is 



thus  clearly  indicated;  and  its  appearance  is  imposing  and  in 
proportion  to  its  magnitude.  Above  this  point  the  exterior 
treatment  consists  of  windows  simply  spaced  to  suit  the  offices 
of  the  typical  floors.  The  interior  finish  is  entirely  of  ma- 
hogany and  white  marble. 

The  design  is  severely  simple  in  keeping  with  the  natural 
quality  of  granite,  which  material  is  used  for  the  entire  fronts 
of  the  building.  Good  and  impressive  proportions  are  relied 
upon  for  general  effect  and  merely  ornamental  treatment  is 
everywhere  avoided.  The  purpose  is  to  suggest  the  strength 
and  dignity  of  this  great  financial  institution. 

There  are  two  main  entrances  to  the  bank  and  office  build- 
ing. The  principal  one  is  from  Dearborn  street.  Here  the 
vestibule  is  sixty  feet  wide,  eighty  feet  deep  and  entirely  finished 
in  marble,  with  the  grand  staircase  of  broad,  easy  steps  ascend- 
ing twelve  feet  from  the  street  level  to  the  banking-room  floor. 
On  each  side  of  the  staircase  five  elevators  connect  with  the 
upper  floors  of  the  building. 

The  entrance  from  Monroe  street  has  proved  nearly  as 
important.  The  vestibule  here  is  twenty-four  feet  wide  by 
fifty  feet  deep,  with  a  broad  staircase  to  the  bank  and  seven 
elevators  to  the  offices  in  the  building. 

The  main  banking-room  occupies  the  entire  second  floor, 
together  with  an  additional  floor  immediately  above,  over- 
looking it  through  a  central  court.  Architectually,  these 
stories  are  treated  as  a  unit.  The  main  entrance  by  the  grand 
staircase  from  Dearborn  street  is  through  an  archway  opening 
immediately  into  the  central  court,  measuring  sixty  by  eighty 
feet.    It  is  surrounded  by  an  arcade,  and  roofed  over  at  a  height 



of  sixty-five  feet  with  a  crystal  plateglass  dome,  thus  being 
brilliantly  lighted.  From  this  court  staircases  and  a  private 
elevator  connect  with  the  First  Trust  and  Savings  Bank  and 
safe  deposit  vaults. 

The  National  Safe  Deposit  Company  occupies  sixteen 
thousand  one  hundred  and  four  square  feet  of  space  on  the 
ground  floor,  with  entrance  through  the  vestibule  on  Dearborn 
street.  The  Safety  Deposit  Vault  itself  measures  forty-two 
by  fifty  feet,  comprising  an  area  of  two  thousand  one  hundred 
square  feet,  and  contains  fourteen  thousand  boxes,  provision 
being  made  for  additions  when  required.  Coupon-rooms, 
committee-rooms,  and  reception-rooms  for  men  and  women  are 
provided.  The  office,  vestibule,  and  all  other  appointments 
are  thoroughly  in  keeping  with  the  general  tone  of  the  building 
and  finished  in  white  marble  and  mahogany. 

During  its  erection  business  uninterruptedly  continued  in 
the  old  structure  until  the  first  portion  of  the  new  building  on 
the  west  half  of  the  Monroe  street  frontage  was  completed. 
The  bank  on  December  5  and  6,  1903,  removed  into  this 
finished  section,  opening  for  business  on  Monday,  December  7. 
The  old  building  at  the  corner  of  Dearborn  and  Monroe  streets 
was  then  demolished  and  the  remainder  of  the  new  edifice 
finally  completed  May  1,  1905.  The  foresight  and  wisdom  of 
those  considering  the  future  needs  of  this  great  institution 
were  never  more  fully  demonstrated  than  in  the  housing  of 
the  many-sided  business.  With  most  impressive  architecture 
has  been  combined  practical  utility  so  perfectly  that  today, 
more  than  a  decade  since  the  plans  were  drawn,  men  whom 
experience  makes  authoritative  pronounce  this  banking  room 
unsurpassed  in  all  the  world. 



SCARCELY  had  the  steel  and  granite  of  the  new  build- 
ing marked  the  sky  line  of  the  city  when  there  was 
conceived  in  the  minds  of  those  directing  the  affairs 
of  the  bank  an  idea  pregnant  with  greater  possibilities 
than  any  action  taken  since  the  organization  of  the  association. 

This  idea  culminated  on  December  18,  1903,  when  the 
directors  declared  a  special  dividend  of  $12.50  per  share, 
amounting  to  $1,000,000,  to  pay  in  the  capital  stock  of  the 
First  Trust  and  Savings  Bank,  a  corporation  organized  under 
the  laws  of  the  State  of  Illinois.  Though  the  two  banks  are 
separate  and  distinct  as  corporations,  yet  by  the  close  associa- 
tion it  seems  both  logical  and  fitting  that  in  these  pages  the 
progress  of  the  one  be  chronicled  with  that  of  the  other. 

During  the  months  preceding  an  agreement  had  been  con- 
summated by  and  between  James  B.  Forgan,  David  R.  Forgan, 
George  D.  Boulton,  Howard  H.  Hitchcock  and  Richard  J. 
Street,  as  trustees,  parties  of  the  first  part,  and  Otto  Young  and 
all  the  other  stockholders  of  the  First  National  Bank  of  Chicago. 
This  agreement,  bearing  date  November  2,  1903,  states  in  its 
preamble,  that "  It  is  deemed  to  be  for  the  interest  of  the  stock- 
holders of  said  The  First  National  Bank  of  Chicago  that  a 
savings  bank  and  trust  company  should  be  organized  under  the 
laws  of  the  State  of  Illinois,  which  shall  be  continuously  owned 
by  the  per  tens  who  shall  from  time  to  time  be  the  shareholders 
of  record  of  the  said  national  bank,  or  such  other  bank  as  may 
from  time  to  time  succeed  to  said  national  bank's  good-will 
and  business,  in  proportion  to  the  respective  holdings  of  record 



of  the  stock  of  said  national  bank  (or  its  successors  as  aforesaid,) 
for  the  purpose,  in  part,  of  transacting  for  the  patrons  of  said 
national  bank  certain  branches  of  business  usually  or  often 
transacted  by  banking  institutions,  but  not  clearly  included 
within  the  corporate  powers  of  said  national  bank;  and  to 
that  end  it  is  desirable  to  secure  the  consent  in  writing  of  all 
the  shareholders  of  said  national  bank  to  the  plan  for  the 
organization  of  said  savings  bank  and  trust  company  and  the 
ownership  of  its  stock  and  the  management  of  its  affairs." 

The  document  then  provides  for  the  consent  of  share- 
holders ;  the  name  and  capital  of  the  corporation ;  the  holding 
of  the  stock  by  the  president,  three  of  the  vice-presidents 
and  the  cashier  of  the  national  bank,  as  trustees;  the  manner 
of  distribution  of  dividends ;  the  continuation  or  termination  of 
the  trust;  the  liability  of  those  beneficially  interested;  the 
payment  of  the  capital  stock;  that  the  beneficial  interest  shall 
be  evidenced  by  endorsement  on  the  certificates  of  the  national 
bank;  that  the  stock  of  the  two  banks  shall  be  inalienable 
during  the  life  of  the  trust ;  and,  finally ;  that  the  directors  of  the 
savings  bank  shall  be  directors  of  the  national  bank. 

The  unanimous  concurrence  of  the  comparatively  numerous 
and  widely  separated  shareholders  of  the  First  National  Bank 
was  deemed  essential,  but,  eventually  all  difficulties  were  over- 
come and  satisfactory  and  binding  consent  secured  from  all. 

Submitted  to  the  Comptroller  of  the  Currency  and  to  the 
Auditor  of  the  State,  the  plan  received  the  sanction  of  both 
officials.  The  latter's  license  to  do  business  is  dated  December 
24,  1903,  and  four  days  later  the  First  Trust  and  Savings  Bank 
opened  for  business  on  the  ground  floor  at  115  Monroe  street, 
in  the  completed  section  of  the  First  National  Bank  Building. 



«    '  •<  <   > 


The  officers  of  the  new  institution  were  James  B.  Forgan, 
president;  David  R.  Forgan,  vice-president;  Emile  K.  Boisot, 
vice-president  and  manager;  David  V.  Webster,  assistant  sec- 
retary; and  Robert  D.  Forgan,  assistant  treasurer,  serving 
under  a  directorate  and  advisory  committee,  of  which  the  board 
of  directors  of  the  First  National  Bank  comprised  the  member- 
ship. Three  principal  divisions  of  the  bank's  business,  the 
Bond  department,  the  Savings  department  and  the  Trust 
department,  were  organized  at  the  outset  and  have  since  con- 
tinued, each  distinct  in  character  but  working  together  for 
the  benefit  of  the  bank  and  its  patrons. 

Success,  in  a  measure  unprecedented  in  the  annals  of 
Chicago  finance,  came  to  the  First  Trust  and  Savings  Bank 
from  the  beginning.  In  the  first  seven  days  after  its  doors 
were  opened  1089  savings  accounts  had  been  started,  all  the 
deposits  showing  a  total  of  $3,195,591.  A  statement  issued 
under  date  of  March  22,  1904,  in  response  to  the  call  of  the 
Auditor  of  the  State  gives  the  following  figures : 


Bonds  on  hand $3,290,756.29 

Loans  and  discounts 3,516,426.42 

Cash  and  due  from  banks 1,574,664.05 


Capital $1,000,000.00 

Undivided  profits 68,286.55 

Savings  deposits $2,033,720.42 

Other  deposits 5,279,839.79     7,313,560.21 

On  the  twenty-ninth  of  the  same  month  Louis  Boisot  was 



appointed  Trust  officer,  the  staff  otherwise  continuing  without 
change  to  December  27th,  when  D.  V.  Webster  and  R.  D. 
Forgan  were  promoted,  respectively  to  be  secretary  and 
treasurer.  B 

By  the  close  of  the  year  the  savings  depositors  numbered 
in  excess  of  ten  thousand,  while  deposits  had  reached  a  total  of 
$17,931,056.  This  volume  of  business,  far  even  in  excess  of 
expectations,  made  increased  space  desirable,  almost  essential, 
and  the  adjoining  frontage  on  Monroe  street  was  secured, 
giving  a  banking-floor  then  thought  to  be  adequate  for  some 
years  to  come. 

This  outline  of  the  origin  and  early  progress  of  the  First 
Trust  and  Savings  Bank  though  brief,  has  covered  a  time  of 
some  import  in  the  parent  institution,  and  in  reverting  to  the 
latter,  this  introduction  will  permit  the  concurrent  considera- 
tion of  the  affairs  of  both. 

A  number  of  changes  in  the  official  staff  had  marked  the 
period  of  transition  from  the  old  to  the  new  building.  On 
December  29,  1903,  John  E.  Gardin  resigned  as  manager  of  the 
Foreign  Exchange  department,  Max  May  being  appointed 
his  successor,  with  Fred  I.  Kent  as  assistant  manager.  Mr. 
May  held  the  post  only  until  the  following  autumn,  upon  his 
resignation  Mr.  Kent  assumed  the  duties  of  the  office.  Frank 
O.  Wetmore,  the  bank's  auditor  since  the  creation  of  that 
position,  was  appointed,  on  June  28,  1904,  assistant  cashier, 
succeeding  Edward  Dickinson,  resigned.  M.  D.  Witkowsky 
was  made  auditor. 

The  loss  of  George  T.  Smith  to  the  board  is  recorded  in  the 
minutes  of  meeting  of  November  29,  1904,  as  one  "whose 



death  had  deprived  the  bank  of  an  able  and  conscientious 
director  who  had  devoted  his  most  efficient  service  to  its 

At  this  latter  meeting  the  tendency  of  the  bank  to  create 
rather  than  follow  precedent  was  again  exemplified  by  the 
board's  adoption  of  a  plan,  previously  submitted  by  President 
Forgan  for  consideration.  So  incisive  is  the  analysis  of  the 
defects  then  existing,  so  unique  in  banking  the  remedy  in- 
volved, that  this  report,  scientific  in  its  deductions,  compre- 
hensive in  its  scope,  is  here  given  in  detail: 

"The  proper  organization  of  the  work  of  the  official  staff 
of  the  bank  is  a  subject  that  has  been  frequently  discussed 
with  me  by  individual  members  of  this  Board. 

"The  absorption  of  the  Union  National  Bank  (in  1900) 
and  of  the  Metropolitan  National  Bank  (in  1902),  together 
with  the  rapid  growth  of  the  Bank's  own  business,  has  inter- 
fered with  the  proper  development  and  effective  organization 
of  the  work  of  the  officers.  Our  chief  aim  has  been  to  hold  the 
business  acquired  through  these  consolidations  and  the  efforts 
of  the  officers  who  came  to  us  from  these  banks  have  been  more 
especially  directed  to  this  end.  In  this  we  have  been  quite 
successful,  more  so  than  we  thought  possible  when  the  consol- 
idations were  under  contemplation.  The  Bank's  business  had 
really  outgrown  the  facilities  of  its  office  in  the  old  building 
prior  to  the  consolidation  with  the  Metropolitan  National 
Bank,  and  after  that  event  were  wholly  inadequate.  All  this 
has  kept  us  in  more  or  less  confusion,  preventing  a  proper  and 
effective  organization  of  the  work.  Our  efforts  have  been  to 
diffuse  and  have  lacked  concentration  and  grasp.  This  has 
led  to  losses  that  might  have  been  avoided  had  the  watchful 



care  and  thought  of  the  individual  members  of  the  staff  been 
more  directly  concentrated  on  and  restricted  to  such  a  portion 
of  the  business  as  each  could  reasonably  be  expected  to  master. 

"  In  other  words,  our  work  has  been  generalized  rather  than 
specialized.  Our  efforts  have  not  been  properly  nor  econom- 
ically directed  to  accomplish  the  best  results  from  the  large 
volume  of  business  we  do  and  responsibility  has  been  so  divided 
that  it  has  been  impossible  to  fasten  mistakes  on  anyone  in 
particular.  Besides  this,  there  has  not  been  sufficient  op- 
portunity for  the  development  and  training  of  young  men  to 
fill  the  places  of  the  senior  officers,  when  in  the  ordinary  course 
of  events  their  services  will  be  lost  to  the  Bank.  All  this  has 
been  known  to  me  as  it  has  to  most  of  you  for  some  time.  Not 
until  now,  however,  when  the  facilities  of  our  new  office, 
rapidly  approaching  completion,  afford  the  opportunity,  have 
I  seen  my  way  to  so  re-organize  the  work  of  the  officers  under 
me  as  to  get  more  effective  and  more  satisfactory  results  from 
their  services. 

"  I  now  propose  to  specialize  and  divide  the  work  by  assign- 
ing to  individual  officers  the  care  and  management  of  the  ac- 
counts of  customers  in  specific  lines  of  business.  A  senior 
and  junior  officer  will  work  together  in  the  management  of  all 
of  the  accounts  in  a  particular  line  of  business.  It  may  be 
that  they  will  be  required  to  take  charge  of  more  than  one  line, 
but  they  will  only  be  held  responsible  for  the  accounts  in  their 
particular  line  or  lines  of  business  assigned  to  them,  and  will 
be  relieved  of  responsibility  for  the  accounts  in  other  lines,  as- 
signed to  other  officers. 

"Each  senior  officer  will  be  responsible  for  the  credits 
granted  in  his  division.     A  junior  officer  will  be  in  constant 



touch  with  him  and  will  attend  to  the  details  of  the  accounts 
under  his  direction.  Both  will  be  expected  to  use  their  best 
endeavor  to  work  up  new  business  in  the  special  lines  assigned 
to  them,  and  will  annually  prepare  a  report  to  the  executive 
committee  embracing  a  statement  of  the  condition  of  each 
account,  with  a  report  as  to  whether  it  is  satisfactory  or  other- 
wise; also  showing  how  the  business  of  the  bank  has  developed 
during  the  year  in  the  special  lines  of  business  under  their 
charge.  In  this  way  responsibility  will  be  definitely  fixed  and 
the  management  can  be  judged  by  results. 

"I  will  personally  keep  in  touch  with  the  business,  consulting 
with  the  senior  officers,  criticising  the  accounts  under  their 
charge  and  maintaining  a  careful  supervision  over  them  just 
as  I  have  done  in  the  past.  This  re-organization  of  the  work 
should  enable  me  to  do  my  part  more  efficiently  than  has  here- 
tofore been  possible.  The  reports  will  be  arranged  so  that  two 
or  three  lines  of  business  will  be  reported  on  each  calendar 

The  official  organization  became  effective  January  I,  1905, 
with  six  divisions,  twenty-six  sub-divisions,  seven  departments, 
and  officers,  under  James  B.  Forgan,  president,  as  follows: 

Division  A — David  R.  Forgan,  vice-president;  E.  S. 
Thomas,  assistant  manager — collateral  stocks  and  bonds; 
grain,  flour  and  feed;  meat  products,  live  stock  commission; 
coal;  doctors  and  lawyers. 

Division  B — George  D.  Boulton,  vice-president ;  Frank  E. 
Brown,  assistant  manager — dry  goods,  millinery;  woolens, 
clothing, cloaks;  furnishing  goods,  hats  and  caps;  jewelry  and 
merchanishing  sundries;  transportation;  and  ladies'  accounts. 



Division  C — Howard  H.  Hitchcock,  vice-president ;  Charles 
N.  Gillett,  assistant  manager — agricultural  implements,  bug- 
gies, automobiles  and  other  vehicles;  iron  and  steel  products; 
lumber,  furniture,  etc.;  manufacturing  sundries. 

Division  D — Richard  J.  Street,  manager;  Frank  O.  Wet- 
more,  cashier — stone,  brick,  cement,  contractors;  wallpaper, 
paints,  oils,  glass,  etc. ;  boots,  shoes,  leather,  hides  and  wool ; 
real  estate  and  insurance;  publishing,  printing,  engraving  and 
paper ;   miscellaneous. 

Division  E — Holmes  Hoge,  manager;  Charles  H.  Newhall, 
assistant  manager — wholesale  and  retail  liquors,  brewers  and 
brewers'  supplies;  tobacco;  produce  commission  and  cold 
storage;    groceries,  drugs,  restaurants;   bakers  and  hotels. 

Division  F — August  Blum,  manager;  Herbert  W.  Brough, 
assistant  manager — banks  and  bankers. 

Law  department — Orville  Peckham,  attorney;  James  D. 
Woley,  assistant  attorney;  Bond  department — Emile  K. 
Boisot,  manager;  Foreign  Exchange  department — Fred  I. 
Kent,  manager;  John  J.  Arnold,  assistant  manager;  Auditing 
department — M.  D.  Witkowsky,  auditor;  Discount  and  Col- 
lateral department — E.  J.  Blossom,  manager;  Credit  and 
Statistical  department — H.  A.  Howland,  manager;  Clerical 
and  Bookkeeping  departments — William  H.  Monroe,  assistant 

Notable  even  at  this  time  of  radical  change  is  the  appoint- 
ment of  Frank  O.  Wetmore  as  cashier  and  that  of  William 
H.  Monroe  as  the  only  assistant  cashier. 

At  the  annual  meeting  of  this  year  (1905)  two  new  members, 



A.  A.  Carpenter,  Jr.,  and  Harold  F.  McCormick,  were  elected 
to  the  board,  Mr.  Nickerson  withdrawing  from  its  council. 

In  May  the  board  was  again  subjected  to  loss  through  the 
death  of  Elbridge  G.  Keith,  president  of  the  Metropolitan 
National  Bank  during  the  entire  eighteen  years  of  its  existence, 
and  since  1902  a  director  of  this  bank.  From  an  appreciation 
upon  the  minutes  is  quoted: 

"We  desire  to  record  our  appreciation  of  his  noble  char- 
acter and  useful  life  and  our  deep  sense  of  loss  in  his  death.  Mr. 
Keith  was  an  example  of  the  highest  type  of  American  citizen- 
ship. While  conservative  and  successful  as  a  banker,  he  was 
ever  an  energetic  leader  in  any  cause  which  had  for  its  object 
the  upbuilding  of  our  city,  the  purification  of  our  politics  or 
the  helping  of  the  poor  and  needy.  He  commanded  the  af- 
fection as  well  as  the  respect  of  all  who  were  associated  with 
him  and  will  long  be  remembered  as  one  of  the  best  citizens 
Chicago  ever  had." 

To  fill  the  vacancy  on  the  board  Howard  H.  Hitchcock  was 
elected.  On  December  26,  George  D.  Boulton,  who  had  served 
the  bank  in  various  capacities  for  forty  years,  resigned  as  vice- 
president  and  director.  To  this  service  and  to  the  man  was 
tendered,  by  the  board,  an  expression  of  thanks  and  apprecia- 
tion with  cordial  wishes  for  health  and  happiness.  On  this 
same  day  were  tendered  the  resignations  of  James  H.  Hyde  as 
director  and  Frank  E.  Brown  as  assistant  division  manager. 

Assembled  on  January  9,  1906,  the  shareholders  elected 
Emile  K.  Boisot  and  E.  T.  Jeffery  to  fill  the  vacancies  on  the 
board,  the  personnel  otherwise  remaining  as  before.  The 
resignations  just  noted  made  essential  a  rearrangement  of  the 



staff.  Frank  O.  Wetmore,  cashier,  was  placed  in  charge  of 
Division  B,  with  M.  D.  Witkowsky  as  assistant  manager,  the 
latter  being  succeeded  as  auditor  by  Arthur  W.  Newton; 
Henry  A.  Howland  became  assistant  manager  of  Division  C, 
E.  A.  Erickson  assuming  the  duties  of  manager  in  the  Credit 
and  Statistical  department.  In  the  First  Trust  and  Savings 
Bank  on  the  same  date  Burt  C.  Hardenbrook  was  appointed 
manager  of  the  Bond  department  and  on  March  31,  1906, 
after  this  bank  took  charge  of  the  First  National  Bank  building, 
as  agent  for  the  National  Safe  Deposit  Company,  Robert 
L.  Davis  was  appointed  manager  of  the  real  estate  department. 

The  year  was  remarkable  in  the  annals  of  Chicago  finance 
as  that  in  which  the  banking  institutions  of  the  city  assumed 
the  obligations  of  two  insolvent  banks  and  a  trust  company 
which  had  been  dominated  and  wrecked  by  their  president. 
So  abhorrent  were  the  conditions  found,  and  so  unable  public 
officials  under  existing  law  to  cope  with  possible  recurrences 
of  the  situation,  that  there  was  appointed  by  the  Chicago 
Clearing  House  Association  an  examiner  whose  duty  included 
the  examination  of  members  of  the  association  and  all  other 
banks  which  clear  through  members.  The  innovation,  an 
unqualified  success,  has  been  an  important  factor  in  maintain- 
ing the  credit  of  Chicago's  banks  upon  the  highest  plane. 

From  the  standpoint  of  earnings  as  well  as  in  volume  of 
deposits  the  year  1906  was  most  satisfactory.  The  former, 
due  largely  to  the  high  rates  of  interest  prevailing  during  the 
year,  exceeded  $1,400,000,  enabling  the  directors  to  transfer 
$1,000,000  from  profit  and  loss  account  to  the  surplus  fund. 
For  the  first  time  in  the  records  of  the  association  the  deposits 
averaged  in  excess  of  one  hundred  million  dollars.    At  the 


>  t       >  3       >      >  » 

J  ,       ■     >    .       1  ,    , 

>      >  <t  .>      »      J 

*  »       >    t 



close  of  the  year  the  management  reported,  with  great  satis- 
faction, that  the  organization  of  the  bank's  business  into 
divisions,  inaugurated  two  years  previously,  had  justified  every 
expectation  entertained  at  the  time  of  its  inception.  Under 
the  new  system  the  business  of  the  bank  had  been  handled 
with  greater  efficiency  and  with  more  satisfactory  results,  both 
to  the  bank  and  to  its  clients,  than  could  have  been  accom- 
plished under  the  methods  formerly  in  vogue.  The  period  had 
been  a  triumphant  vindication  of  a  plan  of  bank-management 
in  which  this  bank  was  the  pioneer. 

The  First  Trust  and  Savings  Bank  had  kept  up  its  phe- 
nomenal growth  and  very  satisfactory  earning  capacity.  The 
capital  account  was  doubled  by  the  transfer  of  one  million 
dollars  from  the  surplus,  leaving  one-half  million  dollars  in 
the  latter  account,  thus  placing  the  bank  on  a  broader  capital 
basis,  in  keeping  with  its  increased  business. 

But  with  this  material  success  came  losses,  not  measurable 
by  money  value,  but  none  the  less  severe.  Otto  Young,  since 
1900  a  member  of  the  board,  was  removed  by  death  on  No- 
vember 30,  1906.  On  December  24,  1906,  David  R.  Forgan 
resigned  as  director  and  vice-president,  having  occupied  both 
offices  since  the  absorption  of  the  Union  National  Bank,  also 
severing  all  connections  with  the  First  Trust  and  Savings  Bank. 
Holmes  Hoge,  manager  of  Division  E,  also  resigned  upon  the 
same  date.  To  fill  the  vacancies  on  the  board  were  elected 
James  J.  Hill  and  Benjamin  Allen. 

At  the  opening  of  1907  changes  again  take  place  in  the 
official  staff :  Howard  H.  Hitchcock  as  senior  vice-president  is  in 
charge  of  Division  A;  F.  O.  Wetmore  and  August  Blum  are  made 



vice-presidents;  Charles  N.  Gillett  being  appointed  cashier. 
Charles  H.  Newhall  becomes  manager  of  Division  E  with  John 
P.  Oleson  as  assistant  manager.  A.  W.  Newton  takes  up  duties 
in  Division  D  as  assistant  manager,  being  succeeded  as  Auditor 
by  H.  L.  Droegemueller,  and  W.  J.  Lawlor  is  made  assistant 
manager  in  the  Credit  and  Statistical  department.  The  entire 
board,  without  change,  continued  until  the  death  of  Nelson 
Morris  on  August  27, 1907,  terminating  a  service  which  had  been 
uninterruptedly  given  to  the  bank  for  over  thirty-five  years. 
To  the  institution  he  was  ever  a  tower  of  strength,  a  wise  and 
conservative  counselor;  to  its  management  he  was,  in  truth, 
an  inspiration  for  all  that  leads  to  honorable  ends.  At  the 
September  meeting  of  the  board  Edward  Morris  was  elected 
to  fill  the  vacancy. 

The  brief,  but  violent,  panic  of  1907  cannot,  for  these  pages, 
be  better  described  than  by  quotation  from  President  Forgan's 
address  at  the  bank's  annual  dinner: 

"We  have  finished  another  year's  voyage  on  the  great 
sea  of  time  and  our  good  old  ship,  the  First  National,  with  its 
sister  ships,  the  First  Trust  and  the  National  Safe  Deposit 
Company,  have  come  into  port  undamaged  by  the  stress  of  the 
storm  they  experienced  towards  the  end  of  the  voyage.  It  is 
a  great  satisfaction  to  us,  the  officers  of  these  good  ships,  that 
we  have  not  only  taken  care  of  our  own  craft  but  have  been  able 
to  afford  assistance  by  throwing  out  a  life-line  here  and  there 
not  only  to  other  financial  craft  of  our  own  description,  but  to 
many  ships  of  commerce  caught  in  the  same  storm. 

"At  the  beginning  the  weather  was  fair,  the  sailing  smooth 
and  the  prospects  bright  for  one  of  the  best  and  most  profitable 



annual  voyages  in  our  history.  We  had  not  gotten  more  than 
half  way,  however,  when  clouds  appeared  on  the  horizon  which 
grew  darker  and  darker  until  they  broke  in  one  of  the  fiercest 
financial  storms  within  the  memory  of  man.  We  were  com- 
pelled to  adopt  means  for  safety  and  self -protection  to  which 
we  were  unaccustomed,  never  before  having  had  to  resort  to 
them.  Under  the  administration  of  a  hard-working  and  de- 
voted Clearing  House  Committee  these  means  have  been  so 
administered  in  Chicago  that  they  have  brought  the  whole  of 
the  Chicago  financial  fleet  through  the  storm  without  the  loss 
of  a  single  ship  and  with  but  few  wrecks  among  the  vessels  of 
commerce.  We  were  not,  of  course,  able  to  bring  our  cargo 
entire  into  port.  A  considerable  part  of  our  Walsh  consign- 
ment, or  assignment,  had  to  be  thrown  overboard  in  the  mid- 
ocean  of  contingency  and  some  other  commercial  consign- 
ments that  went  bad  on  the  voyage  had  to  be  unloaded  into 
the  lifeboat  of  Debit  Contingent,  from  which,  however,  we 
look  for  considerable  salvage. 

"After  this  trying  experience  and  the  buffeting  we  have 
gone  through,  what  remains  of  the  cargo  is  in  good  condition 
and  the  net  result  of  the  voyage  is  highly  satisfactory  to  our 
own  immediate  craft  and  their  owners.  As  we  show  up  in  our 
annual  statements  no  one  could  think  that  we  had  weathered 
a  tornado  or  breasted  a  heavy  sea.  We  came  into  port  with 
colors  flying,  not  a  leak  sprung,  not  a  sail  rent,  not  a  spar 
broken.  Undaunted  by  our  strenuous  experience  and  not  un- 
duly elated  with  our  success,  but  with  renewed  confidence  in 
our  ships  and  in  their  organization  and  with  the  brightest 
hopes,  we  have  started  out  on  the  voyage  of  1908  with  full 
assurance  that  our  past  records  will  be  fully  maintained  what- 
ever conditions  may  be." 



The  year  closed  with  the  transfer  of  one  million  dollars 
from  profit  and  loss  account  to  the  surplus  fund,  concrete 
evidence  that  the  effects  of  the  panic  were  not  serious. 

When  the  first  call  of  the  succeeding  year  was  made  by  the 
Comptroller  of  the  Currency  the  effects  of  the  stringency  so  far 
as  deposits  were  concerned  had  passed.  At  the  close  of  busi- 
ness February  14,  1908,  the  First  National  Bank  reported: 


Loans  and  discounts $65,640,599.91 

United  States  bonds  (par  value) 4,491,000.00 

Bonds  to  secure  U.  S.  deposits  other  than  U.  S.  bonds.       1,696,000.00 

Other  bonds  and  securities  (market  value) 7,257,436.01 

National  Safe  Deposit  Co.  stock  (bank  building)  . . .       1,250,100.00 
Cash  resources: 
Due  from  banks  (Eastern  exch.) . . .  $20,123,676.92 

Checks  for  clearing  house 3,547,008.43 

Cash  on  hand 21,219,220.28 

Due  from  U.  S.  Treasurer 534,100.00      45,424,005.63 


Capital  stock  paid  in $    8,000,000.00 

Surplus  fund 7,000,000.00 

Other  undivided  profits 744,658.24 

Discount  collected  but  not  earned 436,290.80 

Special  deposit  of  United  States  bonds    2,827,000.00 

Special  deposit  of  other  bonds 1,346,000.00 

Circulating  notes  received $3,221,997.50 

Less  amount  on  hand 0.00  3,221,997.50 

Dividends  declared  but  unpaid 2,876.00 

Reserved  for  taxes 16,000.00 

Deposits 102,164,319.01 



The  figures  of  the  First  Trust  and  Savings  Bank  on  the 
same  date  were: 


Bonds $10,847,145.35 

Time  loans  on  collateral 8,643,697.69 

Demand  loans  on  collateral $4,690,028.74 

Cash  and  due  from  banks 9,823,808.45  14,513,837.19 


Capital $  2,000,000.00 

Surplus  and  undivided  profits 1,476,576.32 

Time  deposits $23,236,386.15 

Demand  deposits 7,291,717.76    30,528,103.91 


On  January  14,  1908,  Frank  O.  Wetmore  was  relieved  of 
special  duties  as  manager  of  Division  B,  in  order  that  his 
services  might  be  devoted  to  assisting  the  President  in  the 
supervision  of  all  the  credits  of  the  bank.  William  J.  Lawlor 
was  appointed  at  the  same  meeting  manager  of  the  Credit  and 
Statistical  department,  the  staff  otherwise  remaining  unchanged 
until  toward  the  close  of  the  year,  when,  on  December  24,  Fred 
I.  Kent  resigned  and  on  the  same  day  Richard  J.  Street,  by 
resignation,  terminated  an  active  service  which  had  continued 
more  than  forty  years  with  credit  to  himself  and  profit  to  the 

Promotions  again  marked  the  official  staff  at  the  opening 
of  1909.  M.  D.  Witkowsky  and  A.  W.  Newton  were  appointed 
managers  of  their  respective  divisions;  H.  H.  Heins  and  A. 
C.  C.  Timm  were  made  assistant  managers;  John  J.  Arnold, 
acting  manager,  and  Charles  P.  Clifford,  assistant  manager, 



took  charge  of  the  Foreign  Exchange  department,  and  John 
F.  Hagey  became  assistant  attorney.  In  the  First  Trust  and 
Savings  Bank,  Frank  M.  Gordon  was  appointed  assistant 
manager  of  the  bond  department. 

As  the  result  of  the  business  of  1909  the  directors  after  pay- 
ing the  usual  dividends,  again  transferred  one  million  dollars 
to  surplus  account,  making  the  surplus  equal  to  the  capital. 
The  First  Trust  and  Savings  Bank,  having  accumulated  capital 
demanded  by  the  growth  of  business,  was  placed  upon  a  divi- 
dend basis  and  quarterly  disbursements  of  four  per  cent  upon 
its  capital  were  made,  thus  placing  shareholders  of  the  national 
bank  in  receipt  of  dividends  equivalent  to  sixteen  per  cent  upon 
its  stock. 

Since  1902  the  capital  had  remained  unchanged,  but,  in 
keeping  with  both  growth  and  demand,  an  increase  was  deemed, 
by  the  directors,  to  be  advisable.  In  accordance  with  this  view 
a  proposition  to  issue  twenty  thousand  new  shares  to  stock- 
holders of  record  at  two  hundred  dollars  per  share  was  sub- 
mitted to  the  latter  body,  which  voted  at  the  annual  meeting 
on  January  11,  19 10,  that  the  stock  of  the  bank  be  in- 
creased to  $10,000,000,  the  action  to  become  effective  April 
first.  On  this  date  the  surplus  was  augmented  by  $2,000,000 
making  it  equal  to  the  capital,  and  the  capital  stock  of  the 
First  Trust  and  Savings  Bank  was  increased  to  $2,500,000. 
The  articles  of  association  were  also  amended  to  provide  for 
increase  of  the  board  of  directors  to  twenty-five,  and  Bernard 
E.  Sunny,  Clarence  M.  Woolley  and  Frank  O.  Wetmore  were 
elected  to  membership.  The  only  changes  made  in  the  official 
staff  at  this  time  were  the  appointments  of  John  F.  Hagey, 
formerly  assistant  attorney,  to  assistant  manager  of  Division 



F,  in  place  of  Herbert  W.  Brough,  who  had  died  suddenly  in 
the  preceding  December,  and  the  promotion  of  John  J. 
Arnold  from  acting  manager  in  the  Foreign  Exchange  depart- 
ment to  manager.  Roy  C.  Osgood  was  appointed  assistant 
trust  officer  in  the  First  Trust  and  Savings  Bank. 

Demonstrated  success  had  proved  the  divisional  form  of 
official  organization  thoroughly  satisfactory,  with  the  single 
exception  that  the  titles,  manager  and  assistant  manager,  un- 
usual as  applied  to  bank  officers,  did  not  indicate  either  position 
or  rank  to  customers  or  the  public.  In  making  the  system 
permanent  the  board,  on  June  28,  1910,  appointed  Emile  K. 
Boisot,  Charles  N.  Gillett  (who  continued  as  cashier),  Charles 
H.  Newhall,  M.  D.  Witkowsky  and  Arthur  W.  Newton  vice- 
presidents,  and  Edward  S.  Thomas,  Henry  A.  Howland,  John 
P.  Oleson,  H.  H.  Heins,  A.  C.  C.  Timm  and  John  F.  Hagey 
assistant  cashiers  of  the  bank.  Their  duties  remained  as  before, 
but  the  technical  change  undoubtedly  added  considerable 
prestige  to  the  positions. 

Before  the  year  closed  the  board  was  subjected  to  heavy 
loss  in  the  death  of  John  H.  Barker,  a  man  of  unusual  achieve- 
ment in  the  business  world  and  a  source  of  strength  in  the 
councils  of  the  bank.  On  January  10,  191 1,  Charles  H.  Morse 
was  elected  to  succeed  Mr.  Barker,  the  board  otherwise  re- 
maining unchanged.  New  appointments  made  C.  M.  Wal- 
worth manager  of  the  Discount  and  Collateral  department, 
succeeding  Edward  J.  Blossom,  retired;  and  Edward  E. 
Brown  assistant  attorney,  a  position  for  some  time  held,  but 
without  official  title. 

If  from  sentiment  alone,  considerable  importance  attaches 



to  the  action  of  the  Comptroller  of  the  Currency  on  May  24, 
191 1,  in  restoring  the  original  designation,  "The  First  National 
Bank  of  Chicago,  Number  8,"  thus  officially  recognizing  the 
continuing  existence  of  the  bank. 

By  the  close  of  1910,  more  than  sixty  thousand  savings  ac- 
counts were  upon  the  books  of  the  First  Trust  and  Savings 
Bank,  which,  with  a  larger  volume  of  business  in  other  de- 
partments, made  imperative  the  demand  for  additional  space. 
An  area  of  slightly  over  three  thousand  square  feet  was  available 
on  the  ground  floor  at  the  northeast  corner  of  the  building, 
which  after  necessary  alterations  was  occupied  in  June  of  191 1 
by  the  Trust  department,  the  space  vacated  being  taken  for 
the  Savings  department.  With  this  acquisition  the  bank  has  a 
total  frontage  of  fifty-seven  feet  on  Dearborn  street  and  one 
hundred  thirty-eight  feet  on  Monroe  street,  and  nearly  twelve 
thousand  square  feet  of  floor  area.  Plans  under  contempla- 
tion, which  include  the  occupancy  of  the  southeast  corner,  will 
add  some  sixteen  hundred  square  feet  to  the  ground  floor  area, 
with  additional  working  space  and  vaults  in  the    basement. 

On  the  recommendation  of  the  directors  the  shareholders 
of  the  First  Trust  and  Savings  Bank  at  a  special  meeting  held 
on  December  19,  191 1,  voted  to  increase  the  capital  stock  of 
the  First  Trust  and  Savings  Bank  to  $5,000,000  by  transferring 
$2 ,  500,000  from  surplus  account  the  last  day  of  the  year.  Each 
shareholder  had  now  a  beneficial  interest  of  half  a  share  in  the 
First  Trust  and  Savings  Bank  stock  for  every  share  of  First 
National  Bank  stock  owned;  the  ratio  remains  unchanged. 

The  board  and  official  staff  of  the  First  National  Bank  are 
again  subjected  to  change.     Charles  Deering,  on  December  26, 


>     t   '  ,     » 


First  row  (seated)  left  to  right:    Messrs.  Gillett,  Wetmore,  Boisot,  Forgan, 

Hitchcock,  Blum. 
Second  row:     Messrs.   Monroe,  Howland,  Arnold,  Timm,  Newton,  Blos- 
som, Hagey,  Heins. 
Third   row:      Messrs.    Oleson,     Droegemueller,     Newhall,     Witkowsky, 
Lawlor,  Peckham,  Thomas,  Clifford. 


191 1,  resigned,  being  succeeded  by  William  J.  Louderback.  Two 
weeks  later  George  F.  Baker  also  withdrew  from  the  board, 
and  Marvin  Hughitt  was  elected  to  the  vacancy.  The  most 
important  promotion  of  19 12  was  the  appointment  of  Henry 
A.  Howland  to  the  cashiership,  succeeding  Charles  N.  Gillett, 
the  latter  continuing  as  vice-president  in  charge  of  Division 
C,  to  which  was  also  appointed  William  J.  Lawlor  with  the 
title  of  assistant  cashier.  The  force  in  Division  F,  handling 
the  accounts  of  banks  and  bankers,  was  augmented  by  the 
appointment  of  R.  F.  Newhall  and  George  H.  Dunscomb  as 
assistant  cashiers,  both  of  whom  had  been  active  in  the  work 
of  this  division.  Charles  R.  McKay,  manager  of  the  Transit 
and  General  Books  department,  was  made  an  official,  and  J. 
W.  Lynch  was  placed  at  the  head  of  the  Credit  and  Statistical 
department.  The  retirement  of  Orville  Peckham,  who  for 
more  than  thirty  years  had  been  the  legal  advisor  of  the  bank, 
was  followed  by  the  appointment  of  Edward  E.  Brown  as 
attorney  and  John  Nash  Ott,  assistant  attorney. 

In  accordance  with  a  policy  adopted  by  the  directors  there 
was  no  division  during  19 12  of  the  profits  of  the  First  Trust 
and  Savings  Bank.  In  lieu  thereof  special  dividends  equal  to 
five  per  cent  for  the  year  on  the  capital  stock  of  the  First 
National  Bank  were  paid  out  of  its  earnings.  The  First  Trust 
and  Savings  Bank  was  thus  enabled  to  increase  its  surplus 
account  from  $1,000,000  to  $2,500,000.  Should  the  earnings 
of  the  First  National  Bank  permit,  this  policy  will  be  con- 
tinued until  the  surplus  of  the  First  Trust  and  Savings  Bank  is 
equal  to  its  capital. 

In  the  latter  bank,  on  January  14,  1913,  Louis  Boisot  was 
appointed  vice-president,  retaining  the  title  of  trust  officer; 



Burt  C.  Hardenbrook  became  the  incumbent  of  the  newly 
created  position  of  cashier,  Frank  M.  Gordon  succeeding  him 
as  manager  bond  department ;  C.  G.  Fleager  was  made  assist- 
ant treasurer,  and  Arlan  W.  Converse  assistant  secretary. 

It  is  interesting  to  note  in  the  absence  of  change  in  board 
and  official  staff  of  the  First  National  Bank  that  Samuel  W. 
Allerton,  binding  the  present  to  the  past,  continues  as  a  di- 
rector, in  which  capacity  he  has  served  the  bank  continuously 
since  the  first  organization,  and  to  whom  was  issued  certificate 
number  one  in  1863. 

The  first  statement  issued  upon  call  of  the  Comptroller 
in  1913,  the  semi-centennial  year  of  the  First  National  Bank, 
shows  at  the  close  of  business  February  4: 


Loans  and  Discounts $85,586,825.73 

United  States  bonds  (par  value) 2,359,000.00 

Other  bonds  and  securities  (market  value) 6,071,245.81 

National  Safe  Deposit  Co.  stock  (bank  building)  . . .  1,250,000.00 
Cash  resources: 

Due  from  U.  S.  Treasurer $      925,450.00 

Cash  and  due  from  banks 50,896,519.84  51,821,969.84 



Capital  stock  paid  in $10,000,000.00 

Surplus  fund 10,000,000.00 

Other  undivided  profits 1,897,477.08 

Discount  collected  but  not  earned    637,822.80 

Special  deposit  of  United  States  bonds 1,700,000.00 



Circulating  notes  received $2,109,000.00 

Less  amount  on  hand 0.00  $  2,109,000,00 

Dividends  declared  but  unpaid 1^965.75 

Reserved  for  taxes 53,136.2 1 

Deposits 120,689,639.54 


The  First  Trust  and  Savings  Bank,  reported  at  the  same 


Bonds $20,840,553.91 

Time  loans  on  collateral 18,643,773.64 

Demand  loans  on  collateral $12,291,620.94 

Cash  and  due  from  banks 10,923, 713.65      23,215,334.59 


Capital $  5,000,000.00 

Surplus  and  undivided  profits 2,644,849.20 

Reserve  for  interest  and  taxes 96,641.65 

Time  deposits $43,592,382.31 

Demand  deposits 11,365,788.98  54,958,171.29 


Half  a  century  has  elapsed  since  the  passage  of  the  National 
Bank  Act,  and  the  organization  of  the  First  National  Bank  of 
Chicago  under  its  provisions.  Some  conception  of  the  steady 
progress  which  the  bank  itself  has  made  during  this  period — 
until  now  it  has  a  balance  sheet  exceeding  $145,000,000 — will 
be  formed,  still  it  may  not  be  realized,  without  reflection,  what 
a  force  it  has  been  in  the  advancement  of  the  city  and  the 
enormous  territory  commercially  tributary  thereto.  While  it 
has  certainly  profited  by  the  phenomenal  growth  of  the  com- 



munity,  it  has  on  the  other  hand  contributed  in  no  small 
measure  to  the  extension  of  the  trade  and  the  development  of 
the  material  interests  of  those  whom  it  serves. 

The  past  progress  and  present  position  of  Chicago  are  in  a 
great  measure  attributable  to  the  sound  condition  of  its  prin- 
cipal representatives  in  the  world  of  finance.  Among  these  in- 
stitutions, the  First  National  Bank  and  the  First  Trust  and 
Savings  Bank  not  only  hold  high  rank  by  virtue  of  the  volume 
of  their  business,  but  have  also  won  universal  recognition  as 
safe  and  conservative,  while  they  are  at  the  same  time  not  the 
less  thoroughly  equipped  and  fully  cognizant  of  the  needs  and 
requirements  of  those  who  have  made  Chicago  the  great 
central  market,  and  believe  it  a  city  of  destiny. 

Without  desire  or  intention  to  eulogize  the  First  National 
Bank,  or  by  induction  the  First  Trust  and  Savings  Bank,  it  is 
believed  that  some  few  words  of  satisfaction  at  its  past  career 
can  be  uttered.  By  reason  of  the  excellent  management  which 
it  has  uninterruptedly  enjoyed,  the  high  financial  policy  which 
it  has  strenuously  advocated,  and  the  respect  and  esteem  of  the 
community  which  it  has  never  sacrificed,  this  institution  has 
attained  a  reputation  well  merited  by  its  record.  Appreciative 
of  the  consideration  which  it  has  received,  and  always  anxious 
to  conserve  the  best  interests  of  those  who  in  any  way  are  con- 
nected with  it,  the  First  National  Bank  may  still  justly  an- 
ticipate many  long  years  of  public  service.  If  the  experience 
of  the  past  is  a  fair  criterion  upon  which  to  hazard  a  prediction, 
a  yet  greater  future  is  in  store  for  the  First  National  Bank  of 




From  1863  to  19 13 

Aiken,  Edmund     -    -    -    - 


Allen,  Benjamin     -    -    -    - 


Allen,  Benjamin  F.    -    -    - 


Allerton,  Samuel  W.    -    -    - 


Baker,  George  F.    -    -    -    - 



Bartlett,  Adolphus  C.    -    - 


Boisot,  Emile  K.    -    -    -    - 


Boulton,  George  D.     -    -    - 


Bronson,  Tracy  J.    -    -    -    - 


Brown,  William  L.    -    -    - 


Carpenter,  A.  A.    -    -    -    - 

1 883-1 900 

Carpenter  A.  A.  Jr.     -    -    - 


Conover,  Charles  H.    -    -    - 


Crosby,  Isaac     -    -    -    -    - 


Crumbaugh,  Frederick     -    - 


Cummings,  D.  Mark     -    - 


Deering,  Charles     -    -    -    - 


Fargo,  James  C.    -    -    -    - 


Forgan,  David  R.    -    -    -    - 

1 900-1 906 

Forgan,  James  B.    -    -    -    - 



Gray,  Franklin  D.    -    -    -    - 

1 866-1899 



Hall,  Elbridge  G.     -    -    -    -  1863-1870 

Hill,  James  J. 1906- 

Hitchcock,  H.  H.    -    -    -    -  1905- 

Howard,  Samuel  G.  D.    -    -  1863-1866 

Hughitt,  Marvin     -    -    -    -  19 12- 

Hutchinson,  Benj.  P.     -    -    -  1 863-1 867 

Hyde,  James  H.    -    -    -    -  1903-1905 

Jeffery,  E.  T. 1906- 

Keith,  Elbridge  G.     -    -     -       1 902-1 905 

Lawrence,  E.  F.,  1870-1876,  1877-1898 
Lewis,  Henry  B.  -  -  -  -  1867-1869 
Louderback,  Wm.  J.     -    -    -    19 11- 

McCormick,  H.  F.     -    -    - 


Morris,  Edward     -    -    -    - 


Morris,  Nelson     -    -    -    - 


Morse,  Charles  H.     -    -    - 

-  1911- 

Nickerson,  Roland  C.     -    - 

-  1892-1900 

Nickerson,  Samuel  M.     -    - 


Peckham,  Orville,    1 888-1 890,  1 891-1892 
Pike,  Eugene  S.     -    -    -    -       1885- 
Porter,  Henry  H.     -    -    -    -    1868-1891 
Porter,  Henry  H.  Jr.     -    -    -   1903- 

Ream,  Norman  B.     -    -    -    -  1890- 
Rice,  Byron 1863-1868 

Sherman,  John  B.     -    -  -    -  1863-1867 

Singer,  Horace  M.     -    -  -    -  1879-1888 

Smith,  George  T.     -    -  -    -    1 899-1 904 

Spoor,  John  A.    -    -    -  -    -  1900- 



bunny,  Bernard  h>.    -    -    - 


Symonds,  Henry  R.    -    -    - 


Talcott,  Mancel     -    -    -    - 


Thompson,  Daniel     -    -    - 


Walker,  George  C.    -    -    - 


Watson,  William  J.     -    -    - 


Webster,  George     -    -    -    - 


Wetmore,  Frank  0.     -    -    - 


Wilmarth,  Henry  M.     -    -    ■ 

■  1874-1885 

Woolley,  Clarence  M.    -    - 

-  1910- 







From  1863  to  19 13 


Edmund  Aiken    -    -    -    - 


Samuel  M.  Nickerson    -    - 


Lyman  J.  Gage    -    -    -    - 


Samuel  M.  Nickerson    -    - 


James  B.  Forgan    -    -    -    - 



James  C.  Fargo    -    -    -    - 


Samuel  M.  Nickerson    -    - 


Franklin  D.  Gray    -    -    -    - 


Lyman  J.  Gage    -    -    -    - 


Henry  R.  Symonds    -    -    - 


James  B.  Forgan    -    -    -    - 


David  R.  Forgan    -    -    -    - 

1 9 00- 1 906 

Geo.  D.  Boulton    -    -    -    - 

1 900- 1 905 

H.  H.  Hitchcock    -    -    -    - 


Frank  0.  Wetmore    -    -    - 


August  Blum    ----- 


E.  K.  Boisot 


Charles  N.  Gillett    -    -    - 


Charles  H.  Newhall    -    -    - 


M.  D.  Witkowsky    -    -    - 


Arthur  W.  Newton    -    -    - 


Second  Vice-Presidents 
Henry  M.  Kingman    -    -    -    1891. 
James  B.  Forgan    -    -    -    -    1892. 
George  D.  Boulton    -    -  189 7 -1900 




Edward  E.  Braisted    -    -    -  1 863-1 866 

Cornelius  R.  Field      -    -    -  1 866-1 868 

Lyman  J.  Gage      -    -    -    -  1868-1882 

Henry  R.  Symonds    -    -    -  1882-1891 

Richard  J.  Street  -    -    -    -  1 891-1905 

Frank  O.  Wetmore    -    -    -  1905-1907 

Charles  N.  Gillett      -    -    -  1907-1912 

Henry  A.  Howland    -    -    -  19 12- 

Assistant  Cashiers 

A.  A.  Wheeler 1864-1865 

Charles  J.  Schmitt     -    -    -  1 866-1 868 

Henry  R.  Symonds    -    -    -  1869-1882 

Henry  M.  Kingman    -    -    -  1882-1891 

Holmes  Hoge    -----  1891-1905 

August  Blum    -----  1900-1905 

Frank  E.  Brown    -    -    -    -  1 900-1 905 

Charles  N.  Gillett    -    -     -  1900-1905 

Edward  Dickinson    -    -    -  1902-1904 

Frank  O.  Wetmore    -    -    -  1904-1905 

William  H.  Monroe   -    -    -  1905- 

Edward  S.  Thomas   -    -    -  1910- 

Henry  A.  Howland  -    -    -  1910-1912 

John  P.  Oleson    -    -    -    -  19 10- 

H.  H.  Heins    -----  1910- 

A.  C.  C.  Timm    -    -    -    -  1910- 

John  F.  Hagey    -    -    -    -  1910- 

William  J.  Lawlor    -    -    -  19 12- 

R.  F.  Newhall     -    -    -    -  19 12- 

George  H.  Dunscomb    «    -  19 12- 

Second  Assistant  Cashiers 

Richard  J.  Street    -    -    -    -  1882-1891 

Frank  E.  Brown    -    -    -    -  1897-1900 




Frank  0.  Wetmore    -    -    - 


M.  D.  Witkowsky    -    -    - 

1 904- 1 906 

A.  W.  Newton    -    -    -    - 

-  1 906-1 907 

H.  L.  Droegemueller    -    - 

-  1907- 



Richard  J.  Street    -    -    -    -  1 905-1 908 

Holmes  Hoge 1905-1906 

August  Blum 1 905-1 907 

Charles  H.  Newhall    -    -    -  1907-1910 

M.  D.  Witkowsky      -    -    -  1909-19 10 

A.  W.  Newton 1909-1910 

Assistant  Managers 

E.  S.  Thomas 1905-19 10 

Frank  E.  Brown  -    -    -    -  1905. 

Charles  N.  Gillett     -    -    -  1905-1907 

Charles  H.  Newhall  -    -    -  1905-1907 

Herbert  W.  Brough  -    -    -  1905-19 10 

M.  D.  Witkowsky    -    -    -  1906-1909 

Henry  A.  Howland   -    -    -  1906-19 10 

John  P.  Oleson     -    -    -    -  1907-1910 

A.  W.  Newton     -    -    -    -  1907-1909 

H.  H.  Heins 1909-1910 

A.  C.  C.  Timm    -    -    -    -  1909-1910 

John  F.  Hagey    -    -    -    -  1910. 





Geo.  D.  Boulton    -    -    -    -     1 891-1897 

Emile  K.  Boisot    -    -    -    -     1897-1910 

John  E.  Gardin    -    -    -    -      1901-1903 

Max  May    ------     1903-1904 

Fred  I.  Kent    -----      1905-1908 

E.  J.  Blossom    -----    1905-1911 

H.  A.  Howland    -    -    -    -       1905-1906 

E.  A.  Erickson    -----  1906-1908 

William  J.  Lawlor    -    -    -    -  1908-19 12 

John  J.  Arnold    -----  1909- 

C.  M.  Walworth    -    -    -    -     191 1- 

Charles  R.  McKay    -    -    -      19 12- 
J.  W.  Lynch 1912- 

Assistant  Managers 

John  E.  Gardin    -    -    -    -  1897-1901 

Max  May    ------  1901-1903 

Fred  I.  Kent    -----  1903-1905 

John  J.  Arnold    -----  1 905-1 909 

W.  J.  Lawlor    -----  1907-1908 

Charles  P.  Clifford    -    -    -  1909- 

Orville  Peckham    -    -    -    -     1879-1912 
Edward  E.  Brown    -    -    -       19 12- 

Assistant  Attorneys 

James  D.  Woley  -  -  -  -  1 900-1 908 
John  F.  Hagey  -----  1909-1910 
Edward  E.  Brown  -  -  -  1911-1912 
John  Nash  Ott 1912- 






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